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WINTER OLYMPICS : Austrian Ski Team's Doctor Killed in Ski Accident

February 26, 1988|United Press International

CALGARY, Canada — A doctor with the Austrian ski team was killed by a snow grooming machine Thursday in a skiing accident between runs of the men's giant slalom on Mt. Allan in the Winter Olympics, officials said.

Joerg Oberhammer, 47, a team doctor for the Austrian Ski Federation and his nation's leading knee specialist, died when he fell beneath the machine after colliding with another skier.

It took about seven hours after the accident to receive confirmation of the doctor's death because of difficulty in identifying the body.

The other skier, who was not identified, was hospitalized for shock at Foothills Hospital in Calgary.

"Two skiers ran into each other, two males, and one fell under a snow grooming machine and was killed instantly," said Othmar Stein, a spokesman for the Olympic Organizing Committee.

Swiss skiers Pirmin Zurbriggen and Martin Hangl witnessed the accident from a chairlift as they were climbing the mountain for their second run, a Swiss official said. He said Hangl was so shaken he collapsed in the start house and was unable to make his second run. He was 21st after the opening run.

Oberhammer, from the University of Innsbruck, operated on many of the most prominent skiers on the Austrian team, including Hubert Strolz, who won the giant slalom silver medal Thursday. Oberhammer is survived by four children.

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