A month before the opening of the Winter Olympic games in Turin, Italys top woman downhill skier, Isolde Kostner, has announced that she is pregnant and will not be taking part in the games, saying that she is happier at the prospect of being a mother than of being an Olympic champion.

The 30-year old athlete has twice won the world championships, in 2001 and 2002, and was expected to do well in the winter Olympics on home territory. Her many fans are disappointed that she will not taking part in the games.