VIENNA (AP) Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer has been ruled out of the season-opening World Cup giant slalom in Soelden next week after tearing ligaments in a training accident on Wednesday.
Mayer crashed during GS practice on the Pitztaler glacier, damaging his knee and bruising his backbone, and was hospitalized in Innsbruck, the Austrian ski federation said.
''It's a shame I can't start at the giant slalom in Soelden,'' Mayer said. ''But the season is only at its beginning, and that makes me feel positive.''
Mayer took Olympic gold in Sochi in February before winning his first World Cup race, also in downhill, a month later. The 24-year-old Austrian is yet to get a top-10 result in GS.
The World Cup gets underway with a women's GS on Oct. 25, followed by the men's race the next day.
Mayer is eyeing a return at speed events in Lake Louise, Alberta, in late November.