Palander retires again, says the fire is gone

Since January of 2008, Kalle Palander has completed five World Cup races. Last season, having launched a return, he crashed in the second run of the opening race at Soelden and although he skied down under his own power subsequent examination showed major knee damage.

He had said in April he was quitting, “but then I started training again,” he said. Wednesday, (Sept. 19) he took all his competition equipment from his garage to his basement. “It felt a bit strange,” he said in making a retirement announcement Thursday (Sept. 20). “I thought about putting the boots on one more time, but then I decided to let it be.”

Palander, the Finnish record holder for World Cup wins with 14 and the slalom gold medal winner in 1999 at World Championships said physically he could have gone another season.

“It would be too easy to say that I quit because the body cannot take it any more. But that is not the reason. I am in shape enough physically to say that if I had the motivation, fire, will and faith, I could make it back to the top, I would have continued.”

“I feel relieved now. There is no longer the pressure to get fit by Soelden. I had to force myself to train and then when I got there, I just wasted my time at the gym. It is time to go and do something else.”

Gepa photo.



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