Rainer Schoenfelder is no longer on the Austrian team

03 May 2011 12:50

The Austrian two-time Olympic and World Championships medalist Rainer Schoenfelder, is no longer a member of the Austrian Ski Federation team.

The 33-year-old Schoenfelder, who had given his comeback this past season in the Zagreb World Cup slalom on Thursday, 6 January 2011 after not being able to race in almost a year, did not make enough progress after that event, according to Austrian head coach Matthias Berthold, and was not nominated anymore for the new season.

The Austrian caused a stir in 2007 in Wengen, when he skied down the slopes naked on a non-training day and got fined for it by the Austrian Ski Federation with one day of social service. Among skiers, he is known as the clown who is always good for a surprise. For some time he was competing with painted fingernails and in recent years had a camera crew accompany him on his way back. His videos can be viewed on the internet.

Schoenfelder announced the decision of the Austrian Ski Federation via Facebook. He will get another chance to qualify in the fall when the Austrians hold their time trials before the season starts. The colorful athlete will finance and organize summer training on his own.

The expulsion from the team came even for Schoenfelder somewhat as a surprise as he keeps the injury status whichs allows him to start with bib number 35 in slalom the upcoming season. For Schoenfelder the expulsion from the team is additional motivation to train even harder for his comeback.