Austria's Maier Won't Compete in Olympics


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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.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press