Cuche breaks thumb, Olympics could be in doubt

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Olympic medal contender Didier Cuche broke his right thumb Friday during a World Cup giant slalom, putting his participation at the Vancouver Games in doubt.

The Swiss ski federation said Cuche traveled back to Switzerland and will have surgery in Zurich on Saturday.

In his second run, Cuche hit the second-to-last gate with his right ski, fell and slid over the finish line.

"More details regarding possible consequences for participation at the Olympic Winter Games will be available after the operation," the federation said in a statement.

Ted Ligety of the United States won the race.

The 35-year-old Cuche is among the Olympic favorites in downhill, super-G and giant slalom. He has won one medal so far — silver in super-G at the 1998 Nagano Games.

The men's downhill is the first Alpine skiing event in Vancouver on Feb. 13.

Last week, the super-G world champion won the super-G and the downhill at the Hahnenkamm races in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

He has won 13 World Cup titles — six in downhill, four in super-G and three in giant slalom.