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The Hahnenkamm’s Greatest Hits

The Hahnenkamm’s Greatest Hits

For shocking crash carnage, nothing beats the Kitzbühel downhill. Here’s to the courage of anyone who’s ever tackled it.
By Joe Cutts
posted: 02/01/2012

A racer takes off down the most challenging course in the World Cup circuit, the Hahnenkamm's downhill course, in Kitzbühel, Austria.

Follow the link below if you dare. It’s Deadspin’s take on the Hahnenkamm, by Amanda Ruggeri, with video links to three of the most infamous and gruesome crashes in the storied Streif’s recent history. You know … Grugger, Macartney and, of course, Stemmle.

First, a warning: The videos are appallingly graphic—skiing’s version of the snuff film. We didn’t have the stomach to watch (though we’ve seen them before). The accompanying story succeeds well enough at conveying the menace of one of the sporting world’s most dangerous events.

We know a guy who retired from racing after getting his first look at the Hannenkamm. In training he watched as two teammates took bad lines off the Mousefalle and suffered appallingly violent crashes. On the spot, he turned to a coach and removed himself from the race—and soon thereafter from the sport entirely. The Streif had scared him to the core, and downhill racers just can’t be scared.

You can certainly see why they would though:

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