Alpine skiing-Injured Grange out of Winter Olympics

Updated: December 8, 2009, 12:55 PM ET
Reuters

* World Cup slalom champion Grange suffers knee injury

* His season is over

* He will undergo surgery in January

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By Andre Assier

LYON, France, Dec 8 - World Cup slalom champion Jean-Baptiste Grange will miss February's Vancouver Olympics because of a knee injury, he said on Tuesday.

"I have a ruptured knee ligament and I will have to undergo surgery in January," the 25-year-old French skier told reporters after undergoing checks at a Lyon hospital.

"Putting an end to my season has been a hard decision to make but I didn't want to take any chances ... That means no Olympics in 2010."

Grange, who posted six Alpine ski World Cup wins and won bronze at the 2007 world championships in Are, Sweden, went to have checks after feeling pain in his right knee during a World Cup giant slalom on Sunday at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

He was arguably France's best chance of a podium in Alpine skiing at next year's Olympics.

"The ligament is the only injured part in my knee. Cartilage and meniscus are both OK but I will have to undergo surgery as I would risk breaking everything in my knee if I went on like this. In that case, it would take two or three years to be back at the highest level," Grange said.

"I am only 25 and as for the Games, I think I'll be able to take part in 2014 or 2018 (Olympics). I don't want to race with only one leg. Some skiers can do that but it is because their career is close to an end."

Fellow Frenchmen Thomas Fanara and Pierre-Emmanuel Dalcin also put an end to their seasons after suffering knee injuries in Beaver Creek, the French Skiing Federation said in a statement. (Reporting by Andre Assier; Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris; Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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