French Skiers Worried About Olympics, World Cup Races

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Paris, France Nov. 6, 2001 (AP)--Two members of the French national ski team are worried about competing in the Salt Lake City Olympics and World Cup races in the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

``I'm worried and even frightened,'' slalom champion Pierrick Bourgeat told the French sports newspaper L'Equipe. ``I'm afraid of flying.''

Bourgeat also referred to four fatal cases of inhalation anthrax in the United States.

``I don't want to be contaminated by a virus for two World Cup races,'' he said. ``I don't want to be killed for that.''

Aspen and Beaver Creek in Colorado will stage World Cup Alpine races this year.

``There are many places in Europe that could stage these races,'' added Bourgeat, a winner of three World Cup slalom races, two of them last season.

Gilles Brenier, director of the French men's Alpine ski team, told The Associated Press that one or two team members were worried about traveling to the United States.

He said the whole team would go this month to the United States for the World Cup races. He said the French Ski Federation had not asked for the races to be moved to Europe.

Bourgeat also urged that the Feb. 8-24 Olympics be postponed for a year.

Teammate Frederic Covili, winner of last month's World Cup giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, told L'Equipe he also was concerned about security at the Olympics.

``I'm worried like everyone,'' he said. ``The importance of the games makes them an easy target. But I want to go there.''

French biathlon World Cup winner Raphael Poiree said the games should go ahead.

``If the games were canceled or postponed, it would be the biggest victory for the Taliban,'' Poiree told L'Equipe. ``Personally, I trust the security measures put in place for the games.''

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press