Olympic downhill champion Antoine Deneriaz announced his retirement Wednesday.
''I have decided to end my career,'' the 31-year-old Frenchman said at a news conference in Annecy, France.
    Deneriaz struggled with form and confidence ever since a crash at Are, Sweden, in March 2006, a month after winning the downhill at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Deneriaz lost his balance on one of the course's big jumps, hitting his head on the hard-packed ice and finally ending up in the safety netting. He suffered a concussion and hurt his neck but also sustained a bruise from his thigh to his hip.
    ''I've lost confidence and I prefer to quit of my own doing rather than finish in hospital,'' Deneriaz said, adding that the crash in Are made him ''aware of the risks'' he was taking.
    Last week, Deneriaz withdrew from races at Beaver Creek, Colorado, after finishing an embarrassing 83rd place in downhill training – more than 7 seconds behind leader Didier Cuche of Switzerland.
    In February 2006, Deneriaz won by .72 seconds for the largest margin of victory in an Olympic men's downhill in 42 years. The victory was even more unexpected because he had injured his left knee in training at Chamonix, France, 13 months before the Turin Games. – Associated Press.

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Olympic downhill champion Antoine Deneriaz announced his retirement Wednesday.
''I have decided to end my career,'' the 31-year-old Frenchman said at a news conference in Annecy, France.
    Deneriaz struggled with form and confidence ever since a crash at Are, Sweden, in March 2006, a month after winning the downhill at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Deneriaz lost his balance on one of the course's big jumps, hitting his head on the hard-packed ice and finally ending up in the safety netting. He suffered a concussion and hurt his neck but also sustained a bruise from his thigh to his hip.
    ''I've lost confidence and I prefer to quit of my own doing rather than finish in hospital,'' Deneriaz said, adding that the crash in Are made him ''aware of the risks'' he was taking.
    Last week, Deneriaz withdrew from races at Beaver Creek, Colorado, after finishing an embarrassing 83rd place in downhill training – more than 7 seconds behind leader Didier Cuche of Switzerland.
    In February 2006, Deneriaz won by .72 seconds for the largest margin of victory in an Olympic men's downhill in 42 years. The victory was even more unexpected because he had injured his left knee in training at Chamonix, France, 13 months before the Turin Games. – Associated Press.

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