This take is about Hermann Maier, who some of you may remember from when he appeared on Jay Leno's show ages ago.
Who is he and what makes him special?
Hermann was born in the Altenmarkt im Pongau, which is in the Flachau region in 1972. It's fairly idyllic and quiet there. He is a bricklayer and ski instructor, and an Olympic gold medalist.
This is another village in the Pongau region, 30mins away from Altenmarkt im Pongau:
Hermann's parents own a ski school, he was on the ski lifts in altenmarkt and other town's mountains when he was three years old - he taught himself how to ski and soon started racing as well.
What happened during the Olympic games in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, on 13 Friday, is what made Hermann famous. During his descent, he crashed horribly and people weren't sure whether he was still alive. Here's the crash:
However, it had snowed heavily the days before, which is why he survived the crash with only some mild injuries in his knee and shoulder. Three days later, he participated in the Super-G and surprisingly won a gold medal - he also won one for the giant slalom.
Carl Yarbrough, a photographer for Sports Illustrated, became a millionaire with his picture of the crash:
Maier had some other successful moments, won gold in the Beaver Creek Downhill tournament in 1999 and in Bormio 2005 (FIS Alpine World Ski Championships).
What has he been up to recently?
Given that he never received any media/rhethorical training, he still accepts most offers for advertisements and as brand ambassador, owns a hotel and raises three children.
And everything grew quiet, I could focus again. Indeed, I felt a little invincible.
"Wenn i jetzt Gold g'winn, dann bin i unsterblich!" - If I win a gold medal now, I'm invincible!
I thought about him during my Matura, which is the final test in Austria before gaining your high school diploma. I was writing an analysis and trying to explain why the situation in the text could be a metaphor for death, and struggled, but I remembered what he said:
And finally, a great documentary on his career:
Hermann exploring a beautiful mountain valley:
I was writing my Matura, which is the final high school exam in Austria, and though about what he said before winning gold:
"Wenn ich jetzt Gold gewinne, dann bin ich unsterblich" - If I now win gold, I'm invincible.
I focused again and indeed felt invincible.