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Formula One fans have urged Michael Schumacher to "keep fighting" on the eighth anniversary of his horror ski crash.
Tributes have poured in for the legendary German on social media, with #KeepFightingMichael trending on Twitter.
Schumacher, who retired from racing in 2012 with the most wins in F1 history at the time, suffered traumatic head injuries in a skiing accident at the Meribel resort on the French Alps on this day in December 2013.
He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash – but it cracked on impact, leaving the former Ferrari ace in need of serious medical attention.
The 52-year-old was soon air-lifted to hospital in Grenoble before undergoing two operations and being placed in a medically-induced coma for six months.
After regaining consciousness, Schumacher was moved from the Grenoble University Hospital in France to the University Hospital of Lausanne, western Switzerland, for rehabilitation.
In September 2014, little under a year since the crash, he was able to return to his sprawling home on the banks of Lake Geneva for further rehabilitation. He has remained there ever since.
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In a recent Netflix documentary celebrating Schumacher's life, his wife Corinna spoke about just how much she missed some of her husband's characteristics from before the tragic accident.
She said: "Of course I miss Michael every day. But it’s not just me who misses him. The children, the family, his father, everyone around him. I mean, everybody misses Michael, but Michael is still here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find."
Speaking about the family’s life now, Corinna added: "We’re together, we live together at home. We do therapy, we do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable, and to simply make him feel our family, our bond."
Jean Todt, the F1 star's former manager at Ferrari, is one of the few people from outside the family to have access to Schumacher. In 2019 he offered an update on his friend's condition.
He said: "Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting."
Before adding: "His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was just because there’s no longer the same communication as before."
Earlier this year Todt said: "I can understand why his family and friends are protecting him because we should leave him in peace.
"Michael is fighting, he is fighting, and we can only hope that he will improve," he told the Daily Mail.
Ferrari chief Piero Ferrari gave his thoughts on Schumacher's condition at an awards ceremony in October and offered his own update after visiting the stricken star.
"I’m sorry we talk about him today as if he were dead: he’s not dead, he’s there but he can't communicate," he said.
Schumacher still has legions of fans across the world, all of whom have wished him well on the eighth anniversary of his ski crash.
"Keep fighting champ, we’re all with you #KeepFightingMichael @schumacher," wrote one emotional fan on social media.
Someone else added: "It has been 8 years since his horrific accident – Schumacher is and always will be my hero. It is thanks to him that I love #F1 and #Motorsport as much as I do. We all send you our best wishes, as always. #KeepFightingMichael."
A third person tweeted: "Hard to believe eight years have passed since Michael's accident Always in our thoughts and we keep praying for positive news #KeepFightingMichael #F1."
While another F1 fan said: "the greatest to ever do it in my eyes, an inspiration for so many people around the world, we love you michael. #KeepFightingMichael."
- Michael Schumacher
- Ferrari F1
- Formula One
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