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'Herminator' retires from skiing

Oct. 13, 2009 at 1:21 PM
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VIENNA, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Austrian Hermann Maier, a four-time world champion who won two Olympic gold medals in 1998, Tuesday announced his retirement from competitive skiing.

Maier, 36, nicknamed the "Herminator," had a series of injuries and health issues, including knee surgery in March. He recently returned to training on the ski slopes.

"My body is surprisingly good," Maier said. "(But) after a few days of consideration, I have come to the decision to draw a line and finish my career as a skier."

Maier was favored to win the downhill at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics but crashed in that event. However, he did win the giant slalom and Super-G later in those Games.

He missed the 2002 Olympics because of a motorcycle accident the previous fall but won a silver medal in the Super-G and a bronze in the giant slalom in the 2006 Games.

Maier was declared overall World Cup champion in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2004 and amassed 54 World Cup race victories.