Top German Skier in Car Crash, Misses Sochi Flight

Alpine skier Felix Neureuther of Germany was involved in a car accident and missed his scheduled flight to the Sochi Olympics on Friday, while authorities opened an investigation to determine whether he fled the scene of an accident.

Neureuther was being examined by a doctor in Munich to see whether he suffered whiplash in the crash.

His father Christian, himself a three-time Olympian skier, said he expected his son to catch a later flight to Sochi.

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Neureuther was driving to the Munich airport when the accident happened. He hit a patch of ice, lost control and hit the barrier, but was able to drive on, Christian Neureuther said.

His girlfriend, biathlon star Miriam Goessner, who was in the car, told German media she called the police in Neureuther's native Garmisch-Partenkirchen to report the accident. Goessner is not competing in Sochi because of a back injury.

The Munich prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation into whether Neureuther had fled the scene of an accident and to determine how much time had elapsed between the accident and the call to the police.

Police said there was minor damage to the guardrail and that small car particles were found at the scene of the accident.

Neureuther is an expected medal contender in Wednesday's Olympic giant slalom, and in the slalom race that closes the Alpine program next weekend. He won World Cup races in both events last month.

The slalom favorite, Marcel Hirscher of Austria, sent a message of support on his Twitter account to his friend and rival.

"FelixNeureuther what are you doing!? Get well soon buddy! I'll keep my #fingerscrossed, alle the best and #cuinsochi," Hirscher wrote.

Neureuther aims to follow his mother, Rosi Mittermaier, as an Olympic medalist.

Mittermaier won gold in downhill and slalom, and silver in giant slalom, at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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