Paerson ponders career break

Six-times Olympic medallist Anja Paerson is pondering her future in Alpine skiing and could opt to follow in Bode Miller's footsteps by taking a temporary break before launching a comeback.

Eurosport

Paerson, who won bronze in the super combined at the Vancouver Games, skied out of the second run in the slalom to end her campaign in disappointing fashion.

The 28-year-old has yet to decide whether she will compete next year and said she was in no hurry to make up her mind.

Paerson told Reuters that her choice would be based on both her physical condition and how motivated she feels for a year ahead that includes a world championship.

"I think it is a bit of both. I need perfect preparation to be able to come back and be strong for the world championships in Garmisch. It depends if I want to go in all four disciplines or two. Everything is open for me at the moment," she said.

But there is no doubt that Paerson's team-mates want her to stick around a little longer.

Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who finished in fourth place in Friday's slalom, enjoyed a one hour pep talk with Paerson on Thursday and was clear about her wish.

"I really, really, really hope that she will keep on skiing but we will see - it's her decision," she said.

Paerson said she was not surprised by that reaction.

"They are on at me almost every day about staying around for next year - it feels good that they appreciate what I am trying to give them and help them with the things that I know from my career. But it will still be my decision," she said.

One option that appears to appeal to Paerson is to take a lengthy break in the off-season, skip the intensive summer training, and then make a phased return for the world championships in February, 2011.

It was a strategy that worked well for American Bode Miller in the build-up to these Games, where he has won three medals, and Paerson hinted it might work for her.

"If I do come back for sure I am going to take a longer break than I normally do," she said.

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and EurosportHD (Sky 412). British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

View Comments (0)