Oslo, Norway, Oct. 1, 2001 (AP)–Olympic champion Hans Petter Buraas of Norway will miss the entire ski seasonand the Salt Lake City Games because of a neck injury.
He took what appeared to be a minor spill during training in May. However, he was later hospitalized with neck pain and loss of sensation in his arms.
The 26-year-old skier underwent surgery, but months later his doctors recommended he skip this season.
“I am not willing to take a chance on ruining the rest of my life by competing this season,” he said.Monday. “But I guarantee I’ll be back next year.”
Buraas was the surprise winner of the slalom at the 1998 Winter Games. He was fifth in the World Cupslalom standings last year.
Buraas said he will begin training after the Feb. 8-24 Olympics.