Aksel Lund Svindal suffers torn Achilles in Soelden
VAIL — One of the top contenders for this year’s World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek has suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is likely out for the season.
Aksel Lund Svindal, of Norway, suffered the injury while skiing with his teammates in Soelden, Austria.
“We ended the session playing around with a ball,” Svindal wrote on his Instagram page. “Just holding it up in the air between us. Suddenly I felt something snap in my leg and I knew right away that something was wrong. Achilles.”
The two-time overall World Cup champion was rushed into surgery and later posted a photo of himself in a hospital gown, on crutches and wearing a walking boot.
“A real injury and extremely bad timing just as the season is about to start,” Svindal said. “But now that it’s happened there’s not much I can do. Now it’s all about looking ahead. Nobody can say 100 percent sure how long the recovery will take, but I’m ready for the weeks that are coming.”
The season is set to begin in eight days with a giant slalom on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden.
Svindal has won at Beaver Creek Birds of Prey four times — the downhill last year, the super-G and downhill in 2008, and the super combined in 2006. He has 11 podiums in Beaver Creek.
He crashed badly during a training run at Beaver Creek in 2007, suffering a laceration to his groin area and broken bones in his face.
Svindal won gold in the downhill at the last World Championships, in Schladming, Austria. He has won eight World Championships medals and three Olympic medals.
The World Championships are Feb. 2-15 in Vail and Beaver Creek.
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