The international ski federation is banning camera drones from its World Cup races after one of the flying objects crashed and nearly hit Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher during a slalom in Italy.
During the night slalom race in Madonna di Campiglio, an unfortunate accident occurred, when a drone crashed directly behind Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher during the second run.The Austrian was on his second run when a drone carrying a camera crashed onto the slope centimetres behind him. "This is horrible," Hirscher, who finished second, said. "This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury."
FIS will prohibit drones "as long as I am responsible .... because they are a bad thing for safety," men's race director Markus Waldner told The Associated Press on Wednesday, a day after the night's race in Madonna di Campiglio. "It was huge luck that Marcel was not hurt," Waldner said. "I am very angry."
While FIS and its partners aim to use new technology to enhance the fan experience, an accident such as the drone crash cannot happen again. Even if - unlike in Austria, Switzerland and other countries - drones are authorized to fly over a crowd during events in Italy, FIS and the host broadcaster will work together with all the involved parties to see what occurred during the crash.
Broadcast partner Infront Sports and Media added: "Infront apologizes to Marcel Hirscher and to FIS for the unfortunate incident with the drone. Detailed technical analyses will be conducted and more information will be given as soon as possible."