The Norwegian ski association confirmed that Aksel Lund Svindal will not start in Wednesday’s giant slalom race, and he has decided to return home early from the Sochi Olympic Games after experiencing allergy symptoms.
“These problems make me physically very tired. I think that it is therefore better to get treatment and to save my strength for the rest of the season,” said Svindal, who is only 58 points behind overall leader Marcel Hirscher in the hunt for this year’s World Cup title.
Svindal leaves these Olympic Games without a medal despite being a race favorite in the speed events where he ultimately finished fourth in downhill and seventh in super G, adding eighth in the super combined to the mix.
Maria Hoefl-Riesch has also struggled with illness over the past few days and cited the common cold as the reason she may not start in tomorrow’s giant slalom for the women. The decision will be made tomorrow morning, and Hoefl-Riesch drew start number 13 for the race.
Hoefl-Riesch’s German teammate Felix Neureuther is also questionable for the men’s GS race after he suffered whiplash in a car accident on Friday (Feb. 14) on his way to the Munich airport to fly to Sochi. While Neureuther has trained at the Rosa Khutor venue since his arrival at the Games, he is still experiencing pain and will wait until Wednesday morning to assess his start ability, noting that his top priority is the slalom race on Feb. 22.