Olympic Medalist Back on Slopes

From Staff and Wire Reports

Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street returned to the ski slopes Monday at Park City, Utah, about 21 months after a horrific crash during a World Cup downhill event.

Street skied much of the morning at Park City Mountain Resort, her first time back on the hill since breaking her left leg and rupturing ligaments in her right knee in Switzerland on March 13, 1998.

“I felt kind of behind all morning until I got to the top of the run,” she said. “Then I got excited. I knew I was going to run. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks.”


After wiping away a few tears, Street cut soft turns as she skied at a steady recreational pace, well below racing speeds.

“I was really surprised at how my legs felt,” said Street, the gold medalist in the super-G at the Nagano Olympics in 1998. “I was missing some of those extra little muscles but the core structure of my skiing form is intact.”

Street plans to spend this season doing light workouts and promotional skiing at Park City, where she works. She hopes to return to the World Cup circuit next winter.


Fabio Maj of Italy raced to his first cross-country World Cup victory, and Nina Gavriljuk of Russia won the women’s race at Engelberg, Switzerland.


Tiger Woods, who put together one of golf’s most dominant seasons of the 1900s, was named the Associated Press male athlete of the year in a close vote over cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Woods won nine of his last 13 tournaments, among them the PGA Championship, and earned a record $7.6 million.


“It’s great to be selected, very humbling to be part of that,” said Woods, who won the award for the second time in three years. “A lot of great athletes have won this award.”

Woods received 29 first-place votes and 144 points from AP member newspapers and broadcast outlets. Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer to win the Tour de France, had 31 first-place votes and finished with 130 points.

Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox finished third with 45 points, followed by former Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne of Wisconsin.

Rounding out the top 10: Andre Agassi, Tim Duncan, Payne Stewart, Sammy Sosa, and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner, who tied for 10th.

Reliever Bobby Chouinard of the Arizona Diamondbacks was arrested on assault charges for hitting his wife and pointing a gun at her, Phoenix police said. Chouinard’s wife, Erica, told police her husband grabbed her by the neck and slapped her during an argument Saturday night. Chouinard later pointed a .40-caliber handgun at himself, then aimed it at his wife, police spokesman Bob Ragsdale said. Chouinard was released on bond Sunday.

Horse racing at Kempton Park in England was curtailed because of a bomb scare. Authorities believe the threat came from a breakaway IRA group opposed to the peace initiative in Northern Ireland. Officials at Kempton said the alert came in just before the $176,000 feature race. A crowd of about 20,000 filed out without incident.


The Danish-Australian 60-foot yacht Nokia fought off light winds and challenges from her two closest competitors and led in the final stages of the Sydney-to-Hobart race in Australia. Nokia was about 35 nautical miles from Hobart but was slowed by a drop in strong northeasterly winds. Nokia and the other leaders still were expected to finish in record time, breaking the mark by more than 18 hours.

USC has settled a lawsuit it had filed against former radio announcers Larry Kahn and Mike Lamb for breach of contract, avoiding a trial that had been set for Jan. 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.