Austrian racer Schoenfelder skis naked to settle bet

WENGEN, Switzerland -- Austrian World Cup skier Rainer Schoenfelder put the warm weather conditions in Europe to a true test on Wednesday when he went on a naked ski run alongside the famed Lauberhorn downhill course.

The 29-year-old two-time Olympic bronze medalist and part-time pop musician was photographed skiing down a practice site wearing only his skis, ski boots and an orange helmet.

In a statement on his Web site, Schoenfelder said the streak had been part of a dare with his physiotherapist who had been helping the skier with an injury sustained during a training crash last week.

Schoenfelder said he told his physio he would ski naked if his pains had eased by Wednesday morning.

"Somehow I didn't notice the photographer," Schoenfelder said. "It was a private bet and of course the whole thing wasn't planned for the public.

"I am happy though that the pains have eased up and that it was not cold when I carried out my forfeit."

Schoenfelder's unusual excursion took place during a rest day for the World Cup skiers, with 50 degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures forcing organizers to cancel the first scheduled training session for this weekend's racing.

Austrian men's head coach Toni Giger said he was not too impressed by the stunt, but thought that Schoenfelder was unlikely to face any punishment by his association.

"Personally I don't have any problem with nudity, but this was an unannounced action at a public event, so we might have to have a word with him."