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Street May Retire After Salt Lake Games

posted: 01/01/2000

Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy Jan. 24, 2002 (AP by Jeff Israely)--Picabo Street is flip-flopping each day on whether to retire from ski racing after the Salt Lake City Olympics.

``To be very honest, we are just going to wait until after the Olympics to decide,'' Jim Tracy, head coach of the U.S. women's downhill and Super-G team, said Thursday. ``Picabo has not made a real concrete decision.''

Tracy, who helped Street come back from a 1996 knee injury to win a Super-G gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, wants his 30-year-old star to focus on upcoming races.

``This all takes away from the work she has to do,'' Tracy said.

Street was quoted in USA Today on Thursday as saying that the Olympics would ``definitely'' be her last race. Street and several American teammates will skip next week's World Cup races at Are, Sweden, to prepare for the Salt Lake City Games, which start Feb. 8. If she does retire after the Olympics, this weekend's races at Cortina D'Ampezzo would be her World Cup finale.

Street has nine World Cup downhill victories in her career, including two at Cortina. This year's downhill is slated for Saturday.

There was no answer Thursday to several telephone calls made to her hotel room in Cortina.

``One day, she is convinced that she wants to make (the Olympics) her last one. And then two days later, she changes her mind,'' Tracy said. ``We're going to try to not make this a real big emotional thing.''

Street recovered from her first knee injury in 1989 to win a silver medal in the downhill at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

She dominated the World Cup downhill in 1995 and 1996 before crashing at Vail, Colo., on Dec. 6, 1996.

After two impressive downhill finishes in November at Lake Louise, Alberta, she has faltered of late. Without a top-10 finish in Friday's Super-G, Street risks not making the U.S. team in that event. She already has qualified for the Olympic downhill.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press

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