Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal is forgoing his final race of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but not because of any specific injury. Rather, it’s allergies that are sending Svindal home early from Sochi.
“There’s a lot of athletes that have some kind of allergy against something here,” the skier told The Associated Press on Monday after announcing he will no longer compete in Wednesday’s giant slalom. “I think it’s something from the concrete that’s in the air, like some fine dust. When I got here, I felt it, too. The doctors knew exactly what it was, because they gave me allergy medicine right away. It helps, but it’s kind of draining.”
Svindal failed to medal in his first three races of the Olympics but finished in the top eight in each. Those are relatively respectable results, but Svindal said his performances in Sochi were some of his worst of the winter.
“The fact is, even though I was close to medals, (these were) actually the worst races I did this year,” he said. “That’s how stable (my) season has been.
“When that happens, I think you need to analyze and see what’s different. The only thing I can find that’s different is that I have to use medicines because of allergy.”
Svindal is a three-time Olympic medalist, having won gold in the super-G and silver in the downhill in 2010 and bronze in the giant slalom in 2006. He currently ranks first in downhill and super-G and second overall in the Alpine Skiing World Cup standings.
Photo via Twitter/@BernatchezC