Schumacher admirers react to news of slightly improved condition
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 01:40
Dec. 31 - Doctors say Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is slightly improved after a second operation following a skiing accident but his admirers remain in shock over news of his hospitalization. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher underwent a second brain operation overnight at this hospital in Grenoble, France.
The 44-year-old German is battling for his life after a skiing accident along backcountry slopes.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) ANAESTHETICS AND INTENSIVE CARE UNIT CHIEF, JEAN-FRANCOIS PAYEN, SAYING:
"The situation improved, in the sense that it doesn't compare to yesterday's situation, but he remains in what can be considered as a fragile state, we can still call it a critical situation. We are talking to you now but tomorrow we might have alarming information."
News of the accident came as a shock to fellow former Formula One driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, vacationing in Austria.
He's known Schumacher since the two raced carts together in their youth.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER FORMULA ONE DRIVER, HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN, SAYING:
"He took part in motor sports for 35 years or more and survived some really hairy situations…And then he goes skiing and something like this happens when he is with the family and children in his free time…[it's] really distressing."
In Schumacher's hometown, Kerpen, people are in shock that their local boy made good faces his biggest challenge yet.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) KERPEN RESIDENT, BERT BONGART, SAYING:
"I have to say that it really, really affected me."
But others said Schumacher shouldn't have been skiing 'off-piste' -- beyond the groomed slopes of the resort.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) KERPEN RESIDENT, KATHARINA MUELLER, SAYING:
"I am sorry but he is also guilty. If you look at the area where he was skiing, between the stones, then he himself is to blame. He tempted fate."
Schumacher is the most successful Formula One driver of all time in a storied career spanning over two decades.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the accident.
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