Hermann Maier 2001 Motorcycle Accident, Hermann Maier (born December 7, 1972) is a former World Cup champion alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist from Austria. Born in Altenmarkt im Pongau in Salzburg, Maier ranks among the finest alpine ski racers in history, with four overall World Cup titles (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), two Olympic gold medals (both in 1998), and three World Championship titles (1999: 2, and 2005). His 54 World Cup race victories (24 Super-G, 15 Downhills, 14 Giant Slaloms, 1 Combined) rank second on the men’s all-time list behind Ingemar Stenmark’s 86 victories. He is nicknamed the “Herminator”. As of 2013[update], he holds the record for the most points in one season by a male alpine skier, from 2000-2013, he also held the title of most points in one season by any alpine skier, with 2000 points from the 2000 season.
His racing career nearly ended following a near-fatal motorcycle accident in August 2001; he collided with a car on his way home from a summer training session in Austria. Doctors nearly amputated his lower right leg, but instead Maier underwent massive reconstructive surgery. Most believed his racing career was over, and he had to sit out the 2002 season, missing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He returned to international competition in January 2003 in Adelboden, Switzerland. Just two weeks later, he shocked the skiing world with an amazing Super-G victory in the skiing-mecca of Kitzbühel, Austria.
In 2004, his first full season back, he reclaimed both the Super-G and overall titles, a feat widely seen as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. In 2004, Hermann Maier received the Laureus World Sports Award for the “Comeback of the Year”. His overall title was the fourth of his career.
Reflecting his apparently indestructible nature, he is sometimes jocularly known as “The Herminator.” After his 1998 Olympic gold medals in Nagano he also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC – together with Austrian-born actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is known worldwide as “The Terminator”.
In 2004, Maier wrote an autobiography with his friend and former publicity agent, Knut Okresek. The book, Hermann Maier: Das Rennen Meines Lebens (in German), dealt mainly with his stunning recovery from the 2001 motorcycle accident. In 2005, VeloPress, a Boulder, Colorado-based publisher affiliated with Ski Racing magazine, acquired the worldwide English language rights to the book, which was published in time for the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, as Hermann Maier: The Race of My Life.