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Swedish skier Pietilae Holmner retires with back problem

January 17, 2018

FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2016 file photo Sweden's Maria Pietilae Holmner speeds down the course during the first run of an alpine ski, women's World Cup Giant Slalom, in Semmering, Austria. Six-time Alpine skiing world championships medalist Pietilae Holmner on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 announced her retirement due to a chronic back problem. (AP Photo/Marco Tacca, files)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Six-time skiing world championships medalist Maria Pietilae Holmner of Sweden is retiring because of a chronic back problem.

The International Ski Federation says Pietilae Holmner was attempting to recuperate from a degenerative disk issue in time for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics “but she ultimately decided that her limitations are too severe to compete again at the highest level.”

She had not competed on the World Cup circuit this season.

The 31-year-old Pietilae Holmner excelled at slalom and giant slalom. She took silver in GS at the worlds in Are, Sweden, in 2007 and bronze at the 2011 worlds in slalom.

Her other four medals at the worlds came in the team event.

She also won three World Cup races, two slaloms and a parallel event.

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