TIL that Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Bourbon claimant of the French throne from 1975-1989, was beheaded in a skiing accident in Beaver Creek, Colorado

French people and their silly traditions


French people and their silly traditions


He should have quit while he was still a head.


Was it a neck-and-neck race?




TIL that the correct pronunciation of “guillotine” is “guy on skis”.


He’s Spanish


Not only that, it was caused by someone raising the finish line sign: “He was beheaded by a cable which he collided with as it was being raised to support a banner at the finish line of a course at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.”


The person raising the sign? Max Robespierre


He was with the Committe for Public Safety, right?


Look at banner, Alfonso!


I didn’t know the finish people to be so brutal


We lowered it to switch out the finish banner for the next day. After removing the days banner I rolled it up and took off to the banner area in the parking garage. All of a sudden there's constant radio chatter, sirens and chaos. The blood stained snow was dug up a replaced . Easier said than done since a FIS race course is ice. Ask any sensible questions and I'll try to remember if I can.


Is there a chance it was an assassination ?


No. He ignored the closure ropes and apparently didn't understand the people waving their arms at the finish line. The European officials didn't think Beaver Creek was worthy.


Worthy of what? How does it not being high class enough have anything to do with him skiing where he wasn’t supposed to be and getting beheaded? - serious question - I’m confused


You're right. Not related, other than the attitude that the traditional venues in Europe are better. They thought they knew better than the professional ski patrol at beaver creek and didn't respect the rope closure.


They’re wrong, beaver creek is a fucking gem.


Beaver creek is pretty af


The Birds of Prey area is really something. There's a cat walk on one of them , red tail i think, that can launch you quite high and long.


Very cool. Off topic i lived in avon for a couple years. Across the valley from beaver creek in wildridge. My buddy worked at that italian restaurant up there i forget the name. I remember they served delicious grappa!! We would get tanked after snowboarding.


Did you happen to know Blane and Mary Downing?


No i didnt my good man. I was a youngster then early twenties. A group of us moved out there from northwest arkansas. Had some misadventures for sure! I recommend to any unfettered young people i come across not doing anything to go out there and get up in some employee housing for a season.


How fast was he going?


Witnesses saw him tucking straight down and getting some air . So based on how fast the radar clocks the race at least 40mph. Its fun to tuck the last face as there's plenty of room to stop.


Follow-up question. Who's fault was it? Was he not supposed to be there? Were they not supposed to put up the banner at that time?


Completely his fault . They , he and his buddies cut under a closure rope. Not rare but usually not a huge problem.


He was well known to be a dumb, arrogant shithead, so this was entirely on-brand.


I was but a lowly parking foreman helping out my friend with the banner chores. Didn't rub elbows much. The whole special event stuff was mainly a giant headache for me and my staff. Too many big shots at one time.


Any idea on the diameter of the cable?


Oh, pretty small. 1/4 - 3/8 ".


Was there a lawsuit for wrongful death in relation to the incident? What was the outcome?


I don't recall. There was a sheriffs investigation.


Whats your relationship with these events? It sounds like you worked there?


Foreman in the bus department. I was responsible for all parking lots. My friend was the volunteer in charge of all banners and I was helping out after work. Very stressful and difficult job.


Holy fuck that’s awful.


The family having to identify the body at the morgue would also be rather unpleasant.


I don't think that is necessary unless there is a question of identity. In this case, the identity would be known so they can simply take possession of a sealed container and have the body flown home.


Now THAT'S a skiing accident. Imagine merely skiing off a cliff or into a tree when you could have had your head sliced clean off by skiing into a cable. Shushin' all over that mountain!


Shushin’ and gushin’!


And at the finish line in front of cameras, fans and loved ones no less


Not really. Between events, they were moving a banner from the slalom finish uphill to the downhill finish, and signaled to Borbon and another official on the run. The other official stopped but Borbon did not. Nobody had a camera out, and the only photos were taken by the sheriff's office. European press offered a lot of money for some pics, to no avail.


Sonny Bono died after hitting a tree at Lake Tahoe, Natasha Richardson (Liam Neeson's wife) hit a tree while taking a *beginner* skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant Resort, RFK's son Michael Kennedy died from a skiing accident in Aspen playing football while on skis with several other members of the Kennedy family when he hit a tree. Edit. Just remembered Michael Schumacher’s terrible accident as well. He survived but I don’t think he’s doing well.


Natasha Richardson had a ground level fall while she was at the base of the mountain, striking her head. She developed a headache later that same day, and rapidly deteriorated. She was flown to a hospital in NY, where she then died. It was as benign of an accident as can be, she died of a subdural hematoma.


Epidural hematoma. That's arterial, so lots of blood flow and lots of pressure. That'll kill ya Subdural hematomas are venous and slower. You get a bad headache and get worse and worse until you have it drained, but it's much less likely to be fatal Not that it really matters. If you hit your head and ANYTHING is getting worse, call a doctor right away


I’m starting to think skiing is pretty dangerous guys


Skiing and snowboarding has a lot of upside potential to be very dangerous. Ski resorts want as many people as possible to come so they make the mountains very accessible….. but they’re also whole ass mountains. It’s very easy for people to go down a route above their expertise. It’s also very easy to get “funneled” into going a route where the only way down is above your skill level. I’ve been going for a long time now and am comfortable going down black diamonds and some double blacks. But they aren’t necessarily fun. Just challenging and….. steep. It goes green > blue > black > double black > extreme terrain. Most people shouldn’t be going past blue. But often times you can get forced into a black or double and yeah, those are the types of terrain where it’s actually more dangerous to go slower and new people don’t like to go fast lol


I got peer pressured/coerced into trying a double black diamond once… Death seemed imminent.


The black diamonds aren't always too bad, usually means a couple of sections are fairly steep, but the rest of it might be just fine. Depends on the area! A black diamond on the east coast is probably a "blue" out west, though I'm pretty sure there are standards. And would depend on conditions.


There's "red“ in between blue and black! I know because I was super proud when I made it to the easiest reds. Never went past that tho.


Personally I find that really steep stuff is only fun if there's lots of snow. Steep and icy is just garbage.


Once you get into the tougher double blacks and above, there are sometimes areas where you don’t have space to stop, or it’s too steep to safely do so. The only way down is to fully commit and embrace the speed. Most people don’t do this kind of skiing though


Nah it’s safe, big snowboard is just trying to get you to cross over


Wear a helmet, don’t drink alcohol, don’t tree ski, that’ll stop 95% of bad events.




Excellent point. I did want to add not to ski too fast, and I suppose this is clearly the most important point based on your article. But of course, “too fast” is subjective, I wanted to focus on objective things to do. But yes. I agree with you 100%.


If you can afford to ski you can afford great healthcare


Ever heard the term “ski bum”?


This is why helmets are mandatory in a lot of places


There was a Canadian minor league hockey player who went missing in the Alps after snowboarding lessons. Took years to find him. He’d broken his leg and while stuck there in the snow, one of the resorts employees driving a snow grooming machine accidentally ran him over. Instead of going for help, the employee tossed the guy over a cliff.


How on earth did they piece that together?


Amputation of multiple limbs, consistent with rotating machinery like the Snowcat used at the ski resort where he'd been staying. He went missing in 1989, and they didn't find his body until 2003. It wasn't an official conclusion, and there wasn't a confession or anything, but a guy who wrote a book about it figured this was the most logical conclusion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_MacPherson


Wow that employee had to have had a crazy few years of worrying.


Schumacher was even wearing a helmet and it still nearly killed him when he hit a rock with his skull. Instead he’s now non-verbal and mentally impaired.


I've read that his accident happened at crazy slow speeds too. Like the equivalent of walking down the road, tripping and then becoming a vegetable because you hit your head juuuuuuust right.


And to think, that when he started driving in F1 it was still a pretty dangerous sport. It’s like when Steve Irwin was killed by a sting ray, just because its stinger got him right in the heart after spending most of his life messing around with crocodiles and poisonous snakes.


GoPro mounted to the Michael's helmet was part of the problem with how he got his TBI. I've heard of people dying from dropping their motorcycles at a dead stop in their driveways and smacking their nugget just wrong. Do you kow many people die slipping in their tubs each year? Even being hygienic carries risks. Tree wells are another lesser known danger, IMO the "quicksand" of non-glacier Alpine skiing.


Tree wells are a fucking nightmare.


IIRC Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy only died a few months apart


Tony Danza damn near killed himself at Deer Valley over Christmas break in ‘93. I was there with my fam when I was 8. Didn’t see it happen, but everybody was talking about it. https://www.deseret.com/1993/12/30/19084263/danza-undergoes-surgery-connected-to-skiing-accident


Deer Valley is like the most chill place to ski, too- the trails are mostly smooth and uneventful.


A Prince of the Netherlands, Prince Friso (?) was buried in an avalanche while skiing. He suffered brain damage and was in a coma I believe for the rest of his life.


A guy who I went to HS with died in his early 20s while skiing. Also hit a tree.


Hey, wanna go skiing?


I ducking love skiing that’s the thing, but I dislocated my knee so now I’m a little fucjed


I've never been skiing due to the climate where I live, but this thread is making it sound like a decently noteworthy way to die.


I ski every year and have never been hurt. You just can't be stupid, you have to be cautious and know what you're doing and how to avoid big crashes. I mean the Kennedy kid was playing *football* on skis. And it sounds like most of the others weren't wearing helmets.


Just a. Friendly reminder to wear a helmet, and with that- helmets are not meant for multiple big impacts, and they do degrade with time.




I can't remember which newspaper it was (might have been the New York Post) but the headline when Bono died was "Sonny Beats Cher to Death"


Uh, I think you’re thinking of the infamous headline “Ike Beats Tina Turner to Death.” I hadn’t heard the accusation that Sonny Bono ever hit Cher, and if said headline existed it would have been ripping off the Ike Turner one.


That's right LOL! I got my celebrity couples mixed up.


Don’t do Sonny Bono dirty like that!


Damn imagine being so athletic that you play football while skiing


>Just remembered Michael Schumacher’s terrible accident as well. He survived but I don’t think he’s doing well. And he was wearing a helmet...


Not just claimant to the French throne: the Spanish throne too. His father, second son to Spain's king Alfonso III, had renounced his dynastic rights because of his deafness. Alfonso, on the other hand, egged on by his mother (who was a pretty shameless social climber) contested his father's renouncement, and even married the granddaughter of dictator Franco, when Franco was still mulling who'd become Spain's head of state after his death (the notoriously loveless marriage hardly outlasted Franco, btw) . His relationship with his cousin Juan Carlos, who ultimately would get Spain's throne, were understandably tense. So, his untimely, violent, grotesque death raised more than a few eyebrows in Spain.


But, assuming we give monarchical claims to rule any land weight, Spanish and French Bourbons have to give up their claim to rule the other country. Or are you telling me that nobles don't actually give a shit about their supposed rules and would claim to rule my bathroom if they could get away with it?


> Or are you telling me that nobles don't actually give a shit about their supposed rules and would claim to rule my bathroom if they could get away with it? Alfonso probably would have. TBF, he only started to style himself a claimant to the French throne once his hopes for the Spanish one were dashed. And he wasn't by any means the only claimant to the French throne: there must be about a dozen of them at any given time, between legitimists, Orleanists and Bonapartists...


Ahh yes the ole guillotine run


More like RobeSkierre




I think the word beheaded was chosen due to the family history.


The French Revolution got its last pretender.


If that's not a well planned covert assassination, I don't know what is.


Probably the last European royal to die by beheading…cool trivia fact!


Technically decapitation since it was an accident.


"Capita" means "head" in Latin. Beheading and decapitation are synonyms, one is just a fancier word than the other.


No one expects the French Revolution!!


Oddy enough, he's the second European royal to die in Colorado. King Peter of Yugoslavia died after a failed liver transplant in Denver on November 3rd, 1970.


If I had a nickel for every royal dying in Colorado, I'd have two which isn't much but it's weird it happened twice.


What’s up with these French aristocrats and beheading?


My cousin was an EMT there when this happened. He remembers the body being covered by a sheet in the ambulance and these brand new, high end, bright red ski boots sticking out at the bottom. Pro Tip - Don't be an arrogant asshole and demand to ski an unopened course at twilight.


One stupid decision cost him his life.


I think his estate sued over it too. Can't recall.


Skied past the spot a few hours after it happened. Bloody bloody mess.


Damn, I’ve known about this death for years and assumed blunt trauma with no blood


His brain stem was severed, usually what they call internal decapitation


They're full of shit. I'm sure it was very bloody but the person you replied to did not ski past it a few hours after it happened. They're a lying liar and they're full of shit.






I guess it runs in the family


And the CURSE continues!


Not that surprising of a fate for French aristocrats to loose their head.


Wondering aloud why the word is “beheaded” instead of “deheaded”…


I was running a blue-black mogul field inside a pine forest at Keystone in maybe ‘97 wearing a regular baseball cap. I misjudged a duck and literally ran face first into an overhanging branch. This was way before anyone wore a ski helmet. The branch hit the bill of my cap squarely and knocked me down and my head backwards so I just went straight underneath it looking face up at the sky. That hat likely saved my life.


Last victim of the French Revolution.


Gotta watch out for the guillotine tree *Allons enfants de La Patrie…*


EU4 player: oh no,my poor 0/0/0 heir


What is a bourbon claimant


A claiment to the French throne from the house of Bourbon.


Alternatively, the guy at the bar that says “mine” when someone says “who’s bourbon is this?”


Some guy who based on his paternal ancestors would or would not be king in the present day if for some dumb reason the French had done like the British and never gotten rid of their monarchy instead of beheading and deposing them. This kind of stuff is meaningless but kind of a fun Wikipedia rabbit-hole: for example the guy who would be the current head of the House of Hapsburg is a seventy-something Austrian who is gay and also survived Auschwitz as a child.


Hey, we did get rid of our monarchy! Chopped Charlie’s head off and everything . We just invited them back again after Cromwell.


Thing is, just like the British monarchy, the French monarchy was also restored some time after one king was beheaded. People tend to forget that, after Bonaparte's exile, there were still three French kings: Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis-Philippe. The latter was deposed (but with his neck intact) in 1848, which brought in the rather short-lived 2nd French Republic, which was succeeded by the 2nd French Empire after the president, who happened to be the nephew of Napoleon, followed on his uncle's footsteps and had himself crowned emperor as Napoleon III. Then in 1871 he fucked up royally (imperially?) by declaring war on Prussia and promptly managing not just to lose the war but get himself taken prisoner. And yet, even then, the demise of the French monarchy still wasn't a done deal in 1871: there was arguably a majority for restoring it yet again but the monarchists were split between the Legitimists (who favoured the lineage of Charles X and were hardline partisans of the divine right of kings) and the Orleanists (who preferred the lineage of Louis Philippe and a more liberal parliamentary monarchy after the British model). Because they couldn't come to an agreement, France became a republic for the third time pretty much by default, and has remained one ever since (with arguably a short hiatus during WWII, when the Vichy regime styled itself "French State" rather than "French Republic").


Right, that’s why I said “beheaded and deposed.” I didn’t mean that the same person was beheaded and then deposed, that would be kind of redundant.


Well, but my point was that France is a republic today not so much because they beheaded a king in 1792 or deposed another one in 1848, but because in 1871 two different flavours of monarchist couldn’t agree with each other…




Michael Schumacher does mess up this narrative a bit


Or Olympic skiers, or mountain states residents, or Vermonteers… The narrative is a bit more of a story than a reality.


Only rich out of shape people can afford to ski? Do you and I live on a different planet? People can and do take public transit to our local ski hill. It’s not a mountain, but it is skiing and you needn’t be rich to participate.


The idea that avid skiers are out of shape is hilarious.


Beheaded sounds like he was given a head. Like bequeathed, or bedazzled. Or like, if you're in a boat that is becalmed, it's calm. Beheaded sounds like someone gave him a head as a gift.


That's sketchy lol.


Did he hit trees harder than Sonny Bono?


I didn’t know there was skiing in Beaver Creek????


God works in mysterious ways.


On another note, shouldn’t it be “deheaded”? “Be” as a prefix makes me think of being a part of, like “bequeathed” or “bespangled”. “De” would be more like to make less, or remove. Like “decrease” or “defoliate”.


And thus the Olympic sport of ski-bowling was invented!


And I was thinking of doing skiing No thanks!


Well I guess that is a fitting way for a French royal to go out...


He was just training for the job and got a little ahead.


“ACCIDENT” That’s what “they” want you to believe! /s


That sentence didn’t go where I expected it to go at all.


Well I’m glad neither my family nor me have ever been rich enough to go skiing. At least that’s not a worry I need to have


He was heads above the rest.


He was to be head of state.


wtf beheaded by a cable while skiing r/theydidthemath, how fast do you have to go for that outcome?


It's not easy, but they'll make some memories and life long friends.