US Ski Team's Bjorn-Roli Retires

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Park City, Utah, Mar. 17 (AP)--Downhill racer Kjersti Bjorn-Roli of Anchorage, Alaska, a promising World Cup skier when she was healthy, has retired from ski racing and entered college after three knee operations, the U.S. Ski Team said Thursday.

Bjorn-Roli, the 1994 NorAm downhill champion and winner of a Europa Cup downhill in Austria the next season, tore ligaments in her right knee during training before a World Cup race at Lake Louise, Alberta in December 1996. She underwent surgery three times before returning a year ago.

Bjorn-Roli, 23, who was back in some World Cup this winter, said race courses ``are rougher and the conditions harsher, and that hurts. I'm glad I came back'' but the continual pain forced her to stop racing.

She entered the University of Alaska Anchorage but does not plan to ski for the school.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press