At the night slalom in Madonna di Campiglio, an accident occurred when a drone plummeted from the air and crashed directly behind Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher during the second run. Hirscher emerged unscathed and went on to finish second in the race, but the frightening event has raised a number of concerns in the global sporting world.
“We narrowly avoided a catastrophe,” said FIS Race Director Markus Waldner. “We agreed with (broadcasters) that drones could not fly over the racecourse but only in a corridor next to the slope, but it flew more and more into the slope.”
FIS and its partners are aiming to use new technology to enhance the television experience of alpine ski racing, and this particular device was owned and operated by host broadcaster Infront Sports and Media. Though laws prohibit such an act in Austria, Switzerland, and many other countries, drones are authorized to fly over a crowd during events in Italy.
“What happened is a total mess, and there will be consequences,” Waldner added. “Drones won’t be used in the future.”
FIS and the host broadcaster will now work with all involved parties to uncover what occurred during the crash to ensure it never happens again.
“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,” the broadcast partner issued in a release.