Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht has woken up after three weeks in an artificial coma and is now breathing well on his own, doctors said on Thursday.
Albrecht was taken to a clinic at Innsbruck University and placed in the coma after a serious crash during downhill training in the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel.
Doctors started the process of bringing him out of the coma at the end of last week, but did not expect him to wake completely until this weekend.
The accident occurred when 25-year-old Albrecht lost control and flew through the air for about 50 metres at almost 140km per hour. He landed badly on his back and suffered bleeding on the brain and a lung contusion.
Doctors said shortly afterwards that they were hopeful he would make a full recovery. The hospital will give more details on his condition on Friday.
Albrecht is the reigning super-combined world champion and has had two giant slalom wins in the 2009 season.