Hermann Maier, one of the most dominant alpine ski racers ever to charge out of the gate, is still optimistic that hell march into the stadium at Salt Lake City this February as part of the Austrian team providing he can resolve some of the issues that have plagued his rehabilitation in the next few months.
The "Hermannator" went off the road on his motorcycle on Aug. 24 when a car surprised him by turning left as he was attempting to pass.
The accident occurred on Highway 99 near Maiers home in Flachau, Austria.
He wound up with compound fractures in his lower right leg, nerve damage in his left leg, and life-threatening internal bleeding that kept him in intensive care for 10 days. With the use of titanium rods and screws, doctors managed to repair the broken bones, and doctors feel he will be able to ski this winter.
The major concern now is the skin graft, which is still healing until it does, he wont be able to wear ski boots.
His rehabilitation is going well, and although he has a slight limp, he is putting in five hour days in the gym. He hasnt started to run yet, but he feels it wont be too much longer before he is back in his training regimen.
The pain is still an issue, however, and he has not been able to go off painkillers.
While the 2002 Olympics are important to him, Maier has told reporters that he is more interested in taking one step at a time, getting off the painkillers and back in shape before he even thinks about getting back on skis.