36-year-old Italian, Peter Fill, has decided to end his season after his body has not been able to recover from a lingering injury sustained after a crash in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December 2018.
Fill is the winner of two World Cup downhill titles in 2016 and 2017 and one of combined crystal globe from 2018.
Fill had had a difficult 2018, struggling with a muscle problem stemming from the January races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, that eventually kept him out of the races following the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Then, Fill crashed in the Beaver Creek downhill last month and suffered a back hematoma that has not yet completely healed.
“I am done for this season, you have to be one-hundred percent to compete,” Fill said in a statement to the Italian Ski Federation. “I cannot compete in Wengen with my back pain and then there is Kitzbuehel, where you cannot get down safely if you are not well, and Garmisch, which is a very difficult downhill as well. I could have tried to race later on the World Cup, but it does not make sense.”
“During a slalom training session on December 23rd, I also had a back problem and I stopped for a whole bunch of things,” he continued. “I lost all muscle tone in my lower back after my fall in Beaver Creek. I do physiotherapy but as soon as I move I immediately go into fatigue and the pain returns.”
Fill indicated that he intends to return to the World Cup eventually with his eyes set on the 2021 World Championships in Cortina, Italy.
“I will return, because I do not want to finish my career this way,” he explained. “I wanted to do this season and the next, but now my goals have changed and I want to close my career in 2021 with the World Championships at home in Cortina.”
“Now I will continue to do physiotherapy and the most important thing will be to live with the back pain, which will never completely heal, because there has been so much wear and tear over the years. When I am feeling good I will go back on skis, I will test materials, and team will give me a hand even if they are focused on the World Cup.”
In addition to his three World Cup crystal globes, Fill also has 22 World Cup podiums to his name, including three victories.