VIENNA - Austria is in need of a new flag bearer for Friday's opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics as Alpine skier Benjamin Raich has delayed his trip to Sochi.
The Austrian Olympic Committee says Raich will skip the Feb. 14 super-combined, which leaves the giant slalom five days later as his first event.
In an AOC statement, Raich says that "I will fully focus on the giant slalom and the slalom, so I will travel to Russia one week later than initially planned."
Raich's start in the super-combined had already been doubtful for weeks because of the skier's persistent back problems.
Raich won Olympic bronze in both combined and slalom in 2002, and gold in GS and slalom four years later.
The AOC will announce a new flag bearer on Thursday.
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