Cochran, Kreuzer, Gorza retire
US slalom specialist Jimmy Cochran said goodbye to a successful career with the U.S. Ski Team after the U.S. Alpine Championships slalom at sunny Winter Park last week. A member of the famous "Skiing Cochran's" family, Cochran was on both the 2006 and 2010 U.S. Olympic Teams, raced in three World Championships and captured four U.S. titles. His grandfather Mickey was U.S. head coach in 1974, his dad Bobby and three aunts were Olympic ski racers and cousins Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Robby Kelley are current members of the U.S. Ski Team.
“I'm excited to head home, maybe go back to school and spend a lot of time at the ski area. It's been a lot of fun working there over the years and seeing so many young skiers grow up racing at Cochran's. It's also been really cool working on Slopeside Syrup with my family. The sugar bush is definitely a lot of work, but it's rewarding work and I appreciate that,” said Cochran.
Also announcing retirement is Ralf Kreuzer, the Swiss speed racer who sustained an ACL tear last summer in Argentina. The soon 29-year-old decided to call it quits after rehab lasting through all season:” The fourth severe knee injury in five years was one too many and I do not want to take the risk again.”
Kreuzer considered retirement immediately following the injury but chose to complete his rehab and take the decision in the spring. The past months provided him with time to evaluate his options and he came to the conclusion that time is right. ”It was not an easy decision because my life has always been so intertwined with skiing. But I have now reached the point that the effort and benefit no longer match.”
Kreuzer was often injured just as he seemed to be on the brink of a real break-through. His best results include two European Cup podiums and three results with World Cup points including 18th place finish in Bormio in December 2009.
Also hanging up his skis is Slovenian Ales Gorza (32) who was no longer part of the Slovenian National team this season but continued to ski some FIS races. His official final race on the top level hence became the Kranjska Gora World Cup in March 2011. Gorza raced his first World Cup in December 2001, in Kranjska Gora. He scored two World Cup podiums in 2008 with third places in Whistler and Bormio, both in super-G. He participated in five editions of World Championships from St.Moritz 2003 to GAP 2011, including a fourth place finish in giant slalom in St Moritz 2003, and two Olympic Games, Torino 2006 and 2010.