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Aksel Lund Svindal
Aksel left home at 15 and combined his studies with skiing at Oppdal, 400km north of his home town, and soon found himself skiing on Norway’s Junior Team. By the time he was 19, Aksel was wholly dedicated to his career as a full-time skier.
With several smaller competition titles already under his belt, Aksel won the FIS World Cup overall title in 2006–7, but a serious crash later that year on the Golden Eagle jump at Beaver Creek, USA, put an obstacle in his path.
After a full recovery Aksel fought back to win the 2008–9 World Cup title racing back at Beaver Creek and went on to take the silver medal in the prestigious men’s downhill skiing event in the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in February 2010. He also took his first Olympic gold just days later in the Super-G competition showing the world he was back and fighting fitter than ever.