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Aching Knees Force Girardelli to Retire

February 11, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Facing the prospect of using crutches for the rest of his life, ski champion Marc Girardelli retired Monday.

Girardelli, 33, an Austrian who races for Luxembourg and a five-time World Cup champion, said his aching knees forced him to retire.

"I was not ready for this," he said during a news conference in Sestriere, Italy, attended by his mother and father. His father, Helmut, has been his coach.

"I felt strong at the start of the season, and I was looking forward to continuing through the 1998 Olympics in Nagano."

Girardelli was unable to defend the combined title he won a year ago at the world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. He suffered his latest injury during a World Cup race in December at Val d'Isere, France, further damaging an already fragile left knee when landing after a jump.

In all, Girardelli has 13 world and Olympic medals--the most by a male skier. He also has 46 victories in World Cup races.

Auto Racing

Rain washed away most of the action at Daytona International Speedway, including second-round qualifying and valuable practice time for Sunday's Daytona 500.

NASCAR said that Monday's round would not be rescheduled and the qualifying round set for today will be the last of the time trials.

"We didn't need this rain," said defending race winner Dale Jarrett. "We need practice time, as everybody does after what we saw [in Sunday's Busch Clash]. We need to try to see exactly what we're going to do with our cars to possibly be able to pass and make a good race out of this."

Jarrett, who also won at Daytona in 1993, was referring to the 20-lap made-for-TV event in which there was virtually no passing and little action, even though most of the biggest stars of NASCAR's Winston Cup series were entered.

Chris Trickle, 24, an up-and-coming stock car racer, was in critical condition after being shot in the head while driving on a freeway overpass south of the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night.

Trickle, who had one win and five top-five finishes in NASCAR's SouthWest Tour Division this season, was hospitalized at University Medical Center with a bullet lodged in his brain. He is a nephew of Winston Cup driver Dick Trickle.

Police appealed for a possible witness who stopped a city bus to get help for the victim to come forward. Otherwise, they said they had little to go on.

Trickle's car left the roadway and crashed into a highway sign.

Baseball

The Dodgers signed five players who are on their 40-man roster, but are long-shots to make the major leagues this season. The Dodgers signed catcher Ken Huckaby, second baseman Jeff Berblinger and pitchers Matt Herges, Jesus Martinez and David Spykstra. Each will earn about $150,000 if he makes the major league roster.

College Basketball

Yavapai College, a junior college in Prescott, Ariz., ended its basketball season after nine players were suspended in the wake of their arrests on marijuana-possession charges off campus Sunday night. The team was ranked 25th in the nation among junior colleges.

Women's Golf

Natasha Fink and Julie Brand, first-year LPGA Tour members, each shot one-over par 73 at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale on Monday and qualified for this weekend's Los Angeles Women's Championship. The tournament runs Friday through Sunday at Oakmont.

Miscellany

San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, accepting part of the blame for the Jack Murphy Stadium expansion "mess" that could cost the city the 1998 Super Bowl and the Chargers, urged opponents to drop their suit.

An opposition group has filed a lawsuit against the city seeking to halt construction under way at the stadium until an election is held.

In a speech, Golding said the city should have done a better public relations job on the $78 million expansion project and said she would introduce a new policy requiring all publicly funded buildings over $50 million be brought to a public vote.

Rodney Anderson, 30, the jail guard convicted of helping former Ram Darryl Henley arrange a drug deal and plot a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a federal judge and Henley's ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge James Ideman said he believed that Anderson lied during his testimony.

The New York State Senate will vote today on whether to ban ultimate fighting.

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno had favored a measure to allow local governments to prohibit the events in their jurisdictions. It was approved last week by the Senate.

However, Bruno announced that the Senate will take up a bill proposed by Gov. George Pataki and approved last Wednesday by the Assembly, which imposes a statewide ban on ultimate fighting.

Ultimate fighting already is prohibited in Illinois and Missouri.

Names in the News

Matt Swanson, the goalie on UCLA's water polo team, has been named player of the year by the American Water Polo Coaches Assn., and the Bruins' Guy Baker has been named coach of the year. UCLA's Jim Toring and USC's Ilrvoje Cizmic and Marko Zagar joined Swanson as first-team All-Americans. . . . Darold Dobs, executive director of the 2.3 million-member American Bowling Congress, died of cancer in Milwaukee. He was 54.

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