Austrian-born world-class downhill, super-giant slalom, and giant slalom skier.
Born 7 December 1972 in Flachau, Austria; many consider him to be the greatest male skier in the world, a title he solidified at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. At the games, Maier overcame a violent accident 18 seconds into his downhill run, and went on to win 2 gold medals at the Games in men's super-G and GS. Maier also won the overall World Cup title during the 1997-1998 Season, as well as the '99-2000 Season.
On 24 August 2001, Maier was involved in a motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life. He severed both his tibia and fibula in his right leg, and there was fear that an amputation may have been necessary. Fortunately, the amputation was not necessary, and he continues to recover. Initially, there was hope that Maier may compete in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, but at the time of this writing, that seemed unlikely.
Maier still hopes to make a comeback, most likely for the 2002-2003 World Cup season.