Olympic Champion Skier Hermann Maier Retires

Maier (Fabrice Coffrini - AP)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two-time Olympic champion Hermann Maier retired Tuesday, ending a career in which he became one of Alpine skiing's most prolific racers and almost lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001.

The 36-year-old Maier cited surgery on his right knee in the offseason as the main reason for his retirement.

The Austrian speed specialist won two golds at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and earned three world championship titles.

"I gave it a lot of thought but decided spontaneously that now is the best time for retirement," Maier said.

Maier's career nearly ended after a horrific motorcycle accident eight years ago, which kept him sidelined for almost two years. Doctors contemplated amputating his lower leg after the crash, but the Austrian returned to win the overall and super-G World Cup titles in 2004.

At the Nagano Games, Maier had a dramatic full-speed crash in the downhill race but won the giant slalom and super-G races a few days later, a feat that earned him the nickname "The Herminator."


Preakness to Stay Put

Magna Entertainment Corp. says in bankruptcy court filings it won't consider auction bids that would move the Preakness Stakes horse race from Maryland, a decision cheered Tuesday by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The Ontario, Canada-based company submitted auction plans Friday in federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del.

Concerned about the future of the second leg of the Triple Crown, Maryland lawmakers had approved legislation in April giving Maryland eminent domain authority to buy the race, a centerpiece of Maryland's horse racing industry.

"Maryland has a rich tradition of horse racing and horse breeding, and these industries generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for the local economy," O'Malley said in a statement, adding that he was pleased at Magna's decision.

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