Michael Johnson explores downhill danger - Inside Sport
Inside Sport - the dangers of the downhill
Legendary American athlete and skiing fanatic Michael Johnson hits the piste for Inside Sport to discover why downhill skiers risk life and limb in the pursuit of glory.
It is one of the most dangerous sports in the world - hurtling down a mountain at speeds of up to 80mph, competitors only have a lycra suit and a crash helmet to protect them.
Johnson talks to some of the biggest names in the sport, including skiing greats Franz Klammer and Hermann Maier, as well as experts from the world of psychology and neurology.
He also meets the current Olympic champion Antoine Deneriaz, who suffered a sickening crash just weeks after winning gold at Turin 2006 and has not competed since. The Frenchman explains how watching replays of the accident persuaded him to retire from the sport he loved.
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Also featured in the programme is Swiss skier Silvano Beltrametti, whose promising career was abruptly cut short by a high-speed fall at Val d'Isere which has left him paralysed and in a wheelchair.
Having witnessed the world's best skiers in action, Johnson seeks answers to the questions that have intrigued him for years.
What are these daredevils thinking about as they throw themselves out of the start hut? How do they conquer their fears? And why do spectators love watching the often horrifying consequences of their mistakes?
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