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Helmet camera footage key to Schumacher injury

ALBERTVILLE, France — For adventure athletes, it's the new essential: a video of their exploits.

On social media, slogans such as "It ain't bragging" read like a mission statement proclaimed by high-octane sports seekers who strap tiny cameras on to their helmets, bikes and bodies to document their weekend and vacation adventures.

Forget holiday snaps. Now only video action will do for a shoot-it-and-share-it generation of skiers and skydivers, snowboarders and bike riders.

Michael Schumacher was wearing a camera on his ski helmet when he sustained severe brain injuries falling headfirst onto a rock Dec. 29 on a French Alps slope during a family vacation. He remains in a critical but stable condition while doctors at a hospital in Grenoble keep him in a medically induced coma to ease the stress on his brain.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor and investigators examining what caused the retired Formula One great's crash in Meribel told of what they had learned so far from two minutes of images, which were not made public.

"He was skiing between three and six meters (10 and 20 feet) away from the regular ski trail," Albertville prosecutor Patrick Quincy told a news conference at the Palace of Justice in the 1992 Winter Olympics host city.

"At one point, his skis struck the top of a rock slightly visible above the snow. He loses his balance and his body falls ahead of the rock. His head hits a rock located approximately 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) below. The first rock and the second one that he hit with his head are eight meters (26 feet) away from the border of the ski trail."

Quincy said more detailed, frame-by-frame analysis was ongoing, though it seemed clear that Schumacher was not skiing at excessive speed.

"His pace was completely normal for a skilled skier," said Lt. Col. Benoit Vinneman of the regional police investigation unit.

The footage filmed using the devices, which typically retail for $300-$600, also is used by investigators trying to piece together the chain of events in the aftermath of crashes and accidents.