Austria's Maier Won't Compete in Olympics


Ktzbuehel, Austria (AP by Erica Bulman)--Three-time World Cup champion Hermann Maier won't compete at the Salt Lake City Olympics because of leg injuries from a motorcycle accident in August.

The man nicknamed ``Herminator,'' who won two gold medals at the 1998 Nagano Games, broke his right leg and damaged nerves in his left leg and said Wednesday he still has too many problems--especially with his left leg.

``After the doctor gave me the green light, I tried to move closer to the limit, to ski more like in a race, but I have to say I was not really in a position,'' Maier said. ``This is why I have decided not to be at the Olympics.''

His left leg is still numb and he can't apply a lot of pressure on his right leg, either.

Maier said he now will focus on training for the 2002-03 World Cup season, which begins in the fall.

His motorcycle was hit by a car in Radstadt, Austria, on Aug. 24, throwing him into a ditch. He had 7 hours of surgery.

Maier has undergone a grueling rehabilitation program, skiing downhill for the first time Dec. 21. That day, he said he was not ready to compete in the Olympics, but also added, ``Never say never.''

Until recently, Maier said, he held on to hope that he would be able to ski in the Olympics.

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