Herminator Says He'll Be Back, But Not Yet

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VIENNA, Austria Oct. 8, 2003(AP)--Austrian ski star Hermann Maier is determined to start the ski season opener later this month in Soelden, Austria.

Maier, who has inflammation of ligaments in his right leg, which was severely injured in a motorcycle accident two years ago, vowed he'll be racing in the Oct. 25, season opener.

"My fans can expect to see me racing," Maier told Austria Press Agency. "Soelden is something special, a home race with many of my fans supporting me. I have always performed well there."

But the 30-year-old double Olympic champion acknowledged he didn't expect to win, saying his "10-cylinder engine is only working on seven at the moment." And don't expect the fearless racing that once earned Maier the nickname "Herminator." Maier said he still was missing his "special touch."

"I need to find my flippancy again, because only then I am fast enough to win. Uninhibited attacking is the key, but I still have the bike crash in my head blocking me," he said.