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Villeneuve's ski accident

WORLD CHAMPION Jacques Villeneuve ended 1997 with a bang when he crashed heavily while skiing at the resort of Pra-Loup, near Barcelonnette in the French Alps. Villeneuve is an excellent skier but fell on the nursery slopes. He was able to ski down the mountain but was not feeling very well and so was flown in his own helicopter to a hospital in the town of Gap, 40 miles away. He spent the night in hospital and then went off to Switzerland for New Year celebrations.

Initial reports suggested that Jacques had broken a collar bone in the fall but the hospital said that the only damage was a slight concussion.

Villeneuve is due to begin testing for Williams at Jerez next Monday. The accident will not have pleased the team - a broken collar bone would have been a very serious setback - but Williams does not believe in including such things as skiing bans in its contracts, believing that the drivers will be intelligent enough not to hurt themselves...

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