The United States ski team, which draws little attention on the slopes, attracted a room full of reporters simply by showing up at the World Championships.
The Americans held a news conference late Wednesday to announce they finally had arrived at the alpine championships, two races after the event began.They flew home from Europe last week because of terrorism fears in the wake of the gulf war but returned after being satisfied by tightened security at the two-week championships.
"Life goes on when there's a war. We don't want to change our life here because of terrorism," said U.S. women's head coach Paul Major. "And hopefully our athletes can do well for the troops in the gulf."
Fourteen team members - eight men and six women - will compete in the remaining eight races at the championships, Major said.
Seven skiers stayed in the United States, some because their events already had been run. Others remained to compete in North American ski events.
Eleven coaches and some U.S. security personnel accompanied the athletes to this quaint village in which policemen armed with submachine guns surround team hotels and other public buildings.
Team members will wear their red-white-and-blue uniforms only when necessary.
"They will wear the uniforms during training and racing to represent the country as competitors," Major said. "When they're not racing, they will be in civilian clothes."