Eckert retires from skiing because of bad knee

MUNICH, Germany -- German skiier Florian Eckert retired from competition because of a lingering injury to his right knee.

The 26-year-old German won the bronze medal in the downhill at the 2001 world championships and helped his country take the gold in the team event this year.

"The knee isn't strong enough to compete in a race sport the
way I want," Eckert said. "It doesn't make any sense to want to
do skiing."

Earlier this year, Eckert had another operation on the knee he
injured during training in 2001.

"I would have liked to ski the Olympic Games in Turin in
February, but without proper preparations it doesn't make sense,"
Eckert said.