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Austria to send 130 athletes to Sochi Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2014 at 8:04 am •  Published: January 27, 2014
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VIENNA (AP) — Austria is sending 130 athletes to the Sochi Olympics, by far its largest ever team for the Winter Games.

The Austrian Olympic Committee nominated 89 men and 41 women on Monday, 25 more than for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, the only other time more than 100 Austrian athletes took part.

"If we end up between the 16 medals we won in Vancouver and the 23 medals from Turin, it would be a huge success," AOC President Karl Stoss said.

AOC named Alpine skier Benjamin Raich as the country's flagbearer for the opening ceremony, though vice president Peter Schroecksnadel said AOC first considered choosing three-time Olympic ski jump champion Thomas Morgenstern, who is recovering from a ski flying crash.

"Judged by results Thomas Morgenstern would be the No. 1 on our list," Schroecksnadel said. "But he will need as much rest as possible before the qualification (of the normal-hill competition) on Feb. 8. That's why we unanimously choose Benjamin Raich."

Raich, who won gold in slalom and giant slalom in 2006, said he was "surprised. I heard it on the radio. I hadn't given this any thoughts but it's a real honor."

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