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Olympics: Austria's Reichelt rues Olympic miss, vows quick comeback

Kitzbuehel star Hannes Reichelt admitted Friday it will hurt to watch the ski races in Sochi, where he was a top medal-contender before an urgently needed operation quashed his Olympic dream. The 33-year-old Austrian said he would watch the men's downhill race on television "with a tear in my eye," in his first comments to the press since his back operation on Monday.

Alpine skiing: Reichelt could be back for finals, says surgeon

Kitzbuehel champion Hannes Reichelt could return to World Cup competition before the end of the season, his surgeon said Tuesday after the skier underwent an urgent spinal operation. The surgery, which put an end to Reichelt's Olympic dreams, could not be postponed, Michael Gabl added, noting that the skier had begun feeling some paralysis in his legs on Monday.

Alpine skiing: Reichelt delights home crowd with downhill win

Austrian Hannes Reichelt made up for teammate Marcel Hirscher's disappointing slalom with victory in the famed World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel on Saturday. Starting with bib number 22, the 33-year-old Reichelt stormed down the 3.4km-long course on the Hahnenkamm mountain to clock 2min 03.38sec despite suffering from back pain to end an eight-year Austrian drought in the event. "For an Austrian ski racer to win in Kitzbuehel is a dream," said Reichelt. "It's beautiful, there were tears in my eyes during the flower ceremony.

Alpine skiing: Impressive Miller tops Kitzbuehel downhill training

American Bode Miller continued his increasing return to form ahead of the Sochi Olympics by dominating Thursday's World Cup downhill training on the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel. Five-time Olympic medallist Miller, 36, clocked 2min 02.93sec down the 3,494-metre-long course, which was clear at the top but had some fog-hit parts in the lower section. Reigning world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was the only racer to get within a second of Miller, at 0.96sec. There was then a massive gap to third place, filled by home hope Hannes Reichelt, at 2.35sec.

Alpine skiing: Kitzbuehel downhill training cancelled

Unseasonably warm temperatures and "critical snow conditions" saw Wednesday's first training for this weekend's World Cup men's downhill in Kitzbuehel cancelled. A race jury inspected the famed Streif course early Wednesday and announced that "due to the lack of cold temperatures and the present critical snow conditions, today's DH (scheduled for 1030 GMT) would be cancelled". Guenter Hujara, the chief race director for the International Ski Federation (FIS), added: "Conditions are very good in the upper section but you can feel where the fog was sitting over the night.

Forget defence, Austria needs army to prep ski races

Two weeks after voting to keep the military draft, neutral Austria has discovered why it needs an army: not for defence but to prepare the ski races so beloved in this alpine country. Some 70 recruits were mobilised overnight to help combat severe snowfall on the courses of the World Ski Championships in Schladming, which kicked off officially on Monday. After the famed Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbuehel a week ago, troops in brown could be seen dotted along the icy steep slopes, on skis or armed with large shovels, frantically digging up the protective race nets.

UPDATE 1-Alpine skiing-Italy's Paris wins Hahnenkamm downhill

(Adds quotes and details) By Manuele Lang KITZBUEHEL, Austria, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Dominik Paris became only the second Italian to win the most prestigious downhill on the World Cup circuit, on Kitzbuehel's Hahnenkamm mountain, on Saturday. Joint winner of the Bormio classic earlier this season, the 23-year-old Paris outshone the favourites in one minute 57.56 seconds to emulate compatriot Kristian Ghedina, crowned in 1998.

Alpine skiing-Italy's Paris wins Hahnenkamm downhill

By Manuele Lang KITZBUEHEL, Austria, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Dominik Paris became only the second Italian to win the most prestigious downhill on the World Cup circuit, on Kitzbuehel's Hahnenkamm mountain, on Saturday. Joint winner of the Bormio classic earlier this season, the 23-year-old Paris outshone the favourites in one minute 57.56 seconds to emulate compatriot Kristian Ghedina, crowned in 1998.
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