German Skier Felix Neureuther Misses Olympic Flight After Car Crash

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

Third placed Felix Neureuther, of Germany, gestures at the finish area at the end of an alpine ski men's World Cup Night Slalom in Schladming, Austria, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)
Giovanni Auletta/Associated Press

Felix Neureuther is being tested for whiplash after suffering a car accident on his way to airport, where he was meant to board a plane to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The slalom specialist subsequently missed his journey from Munich to Sochi. Germany's skiing federation has been quick to update fans on the issue, as reported by Reuters and via Yahoo! Eurosport:

"He hit the crash barrier on a slippery, snowy road," Ralph Eder told Reuters, adding that Neureuther was able to continue driving after the accident.

"His doctor is examining him now for whiplash."

SCHLADMING, AUSTRIA - JANUARY 28: (FRANCE OUT) Felix Neureuther of Germany takes the 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Slalom on January 28, 2014 in Schladming, Austria. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Neureuther now faces a race against time to be fit for Feb. 19's giant slalom and Feb. 22's regular slalom. The 29-year-old is expected to challenge for medals in both events, but may face a more difficult task if he has sustained physical injury.

Sebastian Tiffert of Eurosport suggested there could be more to the incident:

Neureuther has shot to prominence in recent times and continues to upset discipline leaders such as Ted Ligety and Marcel Hirscher. His win at the opening giant slalom event of the year in January confirmed this after a stunning second run created a moment of history for the exciting skier.

He became the first German to win on the Adelboden course, and just the second to win this event at all after Max Rieger in 1973.

"This is a historic moment I am part of and it’s just an awesome feeling," said Neureuther after his triumph, reported by Joe Battaglia of NBC Sports.

Hirscher's poor performance at the prestigious Kitzbuhel race also handed Neureuther victory in Austria, per BBC Sport.

Giovanni Auletta/Associated Press

Neureuther had hoped to follow in the footsteps of his mother, Rosi Mittermaier, who won Winter Olympic gold at the 1976 Games in Austria.

While details surrounding Neureuther's crash are scarce right now, the skier's health is priority.

A whiplash examination suggests his injuries aren't too serious, and indeed, the German federation's inability to immediately rule him out of the Sochi games should be taken as a positive note.