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Ex-Olympic champion German skier Gerg retires

11/21/2005

MUNICH, Germany -- Former Olympic slalom champion Hilde Gerg retired Monday because of a knee injury that would have prevented her from skiing at the Winter Olympics.

"I wish this day were four months later," Gerg said at a hospital near Munich, where she underwent an operation Saturday.

The 30-year-old Gerg would have been among Germany's best hopes to win a medal at the Turin Games in February. She won the Olympic
slalom gold medal at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. She also won the overall World Cup super-G titles in 1997 and 2002, and had 20
World Cup wins in her career.

Gerg partially tore ligaments and sustained other damage in her
right knee when she crashed during a super-G practice last week at
Copper Mountain, Colo.

The rehabilitation will take between four and six months, Dr.
Erich Rembeck said.