Lloyd Wallace was careering towards a ski jump at around 40mph when he lost his balance and began to fall. A moment later, his head buckled into the upcoming ramp, knocking him instantly unconscious, and he slipped into the waiting water.
His inanimate body, which was hauled from the training pool by a pair of quick-thinking doctors, was then rushed into a helicopter and flown to hospital. There, the 22-year-old was placed into an induced coma.
Wallace tells the story calmly, without embellishments. It helps that he cannot remember anything about the crash, which took place in Switzerland a little more than two months ago, instead relying on the accounts of those who saw the horror unfold.
It also helps that this is the precise fear that aerial skiers must mentally confront every time they pull their goggles over their eyes, point their feet downhill and launch themselves up a ramp and six metres into the air, where they contort their bodies in a series of flips and twists.
“I had done a few jumps that session already,” he says. “I was just going off and doing one of the tricks I have been doing for a few years now – a lay double-full full, a triple twisting backflip.