Germany's Kathrin Hoelzl retires

FLATTACH, Austria -- Former giant slalom world champion Kathrin Hoelzl of Germany has announced her retirement after years of struggling with injuries and illness.

Hoelzl won GS gold in 2009 but had to pull out with back pains two years later while defending her title in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Hoelzl suffered from a metabolic illness and has since competed in just one World Cup race -- in Lienz, Austria, in December 2011.

The 28-year-old German says "I've tried everything. ... To give up your career because of something inexplicable like this is hard to take."

Hoelzl has won two World Cup races -- at Aspen and Lienz in 2009 -- and placed sixth in the giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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