(Reuters) – Veteran Argentine skier Cristian Javier Simari Birkner has never had a top-25 finish on the World Cup alpine skiing circuit, and his drought continued in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of his own on Wednesday.
A double Olympian skiing in his first World Cup event of the season, Simari Birkner was the 75th and final slalom starter in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
A course worker, however, evidently did not get the memo that there was still one man to come.
Television footage shows Simari Birkner about 25 seconds into his run when he notices the worker furiously scrambling to get out of the way a couple of gates further down the hill.
Though the worker exits stage right in the nick of time, an understandably distracted Simari Birkner had already put on the brakes.
The 39-year-old pulled up, threw out his arms in frustration and skied off the course, smacking one of his poles against a gate for good measure.
He was listed in the official results as a “did not finish”.
Simari Birkner competed at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, and was the Argentine flag bearer at the opening ceremony at both Games.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina)