Paralysed ski star taken to Swiss clinic

Beltrametti arrives at the clinic in the village of Nottwil Keystone

Young Swiss skiing star Silvano Beltrametti has been taken to a Swiss paraplegic centre, two days after an horrific accident left him paralysed for life.

This content was published on December 10, 2001 - 22:37

Beltrametti was transferred by helicopter from Grenoble's university hospital in France to a specialist clinic in canton Lucerne.

Tests conducted Monday morning showed he was in a suitable condition to make the journey.

The move follows a request by Beltrametti's family who have been with the young skier in Grenoble since his tragic accident.

Sporting world stunned

Saturday's crash, in which Beltrametti flew straight through a safety net and onto a pile of nearby rocks at Val d'Isère ski resort, has stunned the sporting world.

Fritz Züger, the Swiss ski team's speed coach, said the tragic event was the "darkest day of [his] career".

"Silvano Beltrametti is like my own son," he added, "and it is really difficult for me to know that he was so seriously wounded."

Paralysed for life

Dieter Bartsch, head of the Swiss alpine men's team, said he knew "immediately" that Beltrametti would not be getting up to walk away from the site of his crash.

"Less than two minutes after I arrived at Silvano's side, I knew it was serious," he said.

But Bartsch also recognised his task as a coach was to rally around the other members of the Swiss ski team.

No justice

"It is up to us coaches now to be very strong and to help the rest of the team to overcome this test," he said. "We all know that there is no justice in this sport."

Hans Pum, head of the Austrian ski team, said the shock of the accident was being felt not just by the Swiss but by the entire Alpine skiing community.

"This is a terrible moment, " he said, "not only for Beltrametti and the Swiss ski team but also for everyone involved in international skiing."

swissinfo with agencies

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