Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger shows his prosthesis at a rehabilitation center in Bad Haering, Austria, on April 15, 2008. // Matthias Lanzinger, skiing (AP Photo/Erich Spiess)

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Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger shows his prosthesis at a rehabilitation center in Bad Haering, Austria, on April 15, 2008.

Within one year, Matthias Lanzinger went from being one of downhill skiing's best to having his racing career halted, and his life subsequently altered drastically. Lanzinger won the overall Europa Cup championship in 2007, but then, during a Super-G event the next March, the Austrian was involved in a horrific crash. When Lanzinger smashed into a gate and tumbled violently down the hill - his left leg turning around like a top in the process - the impact caused the leg to fracture. In the end, the leg had to be amputated below the knee because circulation could not be returned to it.

* Bing: Watch the crash