Left-Over’s last post got me thinking more and more about this whole “Arnold broke his femur” story. Here is the most descriptive explanation I can find of the injury, from the man who witnessed the accident.
Having done a fair amount of skiing myself, I decided to break it down:
Adi Erber, a ski instructor who often skis with the governor when he visits Sun Valley, told the biweekly Idaho Mountain Express that Schwarzenegger's pole got caught underneath his ski and the governor tripped over it while standing near the half-pipe on the Lower Warm Springs trail.
"He fell on his ski pole, and the impact broke his femur," Erber told the Express.
This is a ski pole:
And this is a femur:
If the two come together with opposing force, it doesn’t take a structural engineer to guess which one is more likely to break. I’ve broken a ski pole, and it snapped like a twig! I still have the handle in my garage as a souvenir of the experience. It wasn’t pleasant, but only the pole was broken.
For reference, I weigh 155 lbs and have 17.5 inch thighs surrounding each femur!
These are Arnold’s approximate measurements (from a page of one of his archived websites).
Nickname: The Austrian Oak
Born: July 30, 1947
Birthplace: Tahl, Graz, AUSTRIA
Residence: California, USA
Height: 6' 2"
Off Season Weight: 260 lbs
Competition Weight: 235 lbs
The numbers are probably somewhat different today than from his competition days, but you get the picture – someone nicknamed “The Austrian Oak” having thighs more than 2 feet in circumference, should not, even at age 59, have a femur that is more brittle than a ski pole!
Published reports of his surgery also include an additional hint as to what really happened:
The procedure was performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Ehrhart, who also. . . repaired President Ronald Reagan's broken hip in 2001.
So Arnold’s operation was performed by the same guy tapped to repair the 90-year-old Reagan’s broken hip? A specialty, perhaps?
My guess as to what really happened? Arnold tripped over his ski pole and fell – probably onto an icy slope where his hip hit the ice and shattered like a wine glass - much like my grandmother’s hip shattered when she tripped over her walker (like Reagan, she was also approaching 90 at the time!)
But Arnold, the man once known for proclaiming his desire “to be the best-built man in the world," could not admit to an injury more common in 90-year olds, so he says he “broke his femur!”
At least he could have gotten his instructor to say he was injured "while ripping a sick 540 Reverse Tail Grab on the half pipe while moshin' to Green Day on his I-Pod!"
No! Although numerous articles pointed out that the Sun Valley trail named after Arnold is a black diamond “expert” run, Arnold’s injury happened while he was standing on the Lower Warm Springs Trail, which is listed on Sun Valley’s interactive trail map as a green circle “bunny” slope!Can you say "fragile?"