Jan Hudec to miss 2015-16 season due to knee injury
Olympic bronze medallist re-evaluating his 'future as a competitor'
Canadian alpine skier Jan Hudec has pulled out of the 2015-16 season amid plans to have knee surgery in January.
Alpine Canada announced Wednesday that the 34-year-old, who injured his knee last season, has experienced a setback.
Hudec started the season-opening super-G at Lake Louise, Alta., but did not finish.
He intends to return next season, Alpine Canada said.
"I had to re-evaluate my commitment to ski racing and my future as a competitor," Hudec said in a news release. "After several meetings with [Alpine Canada] staff, trainers and the medical team, I have decided to sit this season out. It will give me a chance to get my knee repaired."
Hudec sustained the minor injury in late November, just days before the World Cup in Lake Louise, the same event he won in 2007. The skier said the bones in his right knee "squished" together.
And while Hudec is accustomed to skiing in pain, it was the inability to ski at top speeds that led him to continue to back out of races.
"I don't care about pain," Hudec said in November, just days before the Lake Louise race. "More than the pain, it needs to feel safe for me to go down the mountain at 110 per cent. There's so much pain that it would basically put me in a defensive position."
Hudec has already had seven operations on his right knee and one on his left.
When he tied with American Bode Miller for super-G bronze in 2014 in Sochi, Hudec became the first Canadian in 20 years to win an Olympic alpine ski medal. He also won silver in the men's downhill at the 2007 world championships.
Hudec is the second high-profile skier the Canadian men's alpine team has lost to a knee injury this season.
Ottawa's Dustin Cook, who won super-G silver at this year's world championships, tore ligaments in his right knee while training in October. He also underwent season-ending knee surgery.
The men's team is currently in Val Gardena, Italy, preparing for Friday's super-G and Saturday's downhill.
With files from The Canadian Press