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Kitt: Ninth isn't so bad


VAL D'ISERE, France -- Before he saw his time, before he learned his race down one of the earth's most demanding ski runs just wasn't fast enough, AJ Kitt thought he had a shot at ZTC some Olympic glory.

"When I crossed the finish line, I felt like I had a chance for a good result," Kitt said. "I felt satisfied. Before I looked at the time, I said to myself, 'Good run. You done a good job no matter what happens.' "

What happened is that Kitt, America's best shot for a medal in men's Alpine skiing events, finished ninth in the downhill.

Ninth. He had to be disappointed. You would think.

"I'm not necessarily pleased, but I'm not disappointed," Kitt said.

Kitt snapped at a reporter who asked if he would resent it if the media depicted his ninth-place finish as a disappointment.

"People can say what they want," Kitt said. "Don't say I'm disappointed. I'm not disappointed. If you're disappointed, write it. Don't say I'm disappointed."

OK, he's not disappointed. But he still was ninth. His time of 1 minute, 51.98 seconds was more than a second behind winner Patrick Ortlieb of Austria (1:50.37).

Ortlieb was the first of 55 racers to go down the technically demanding 1.8-mile course known as Le Face de Bellevarde. Of those who followed, nine failed to complete the race and one was disqualified. "I knew time was good," Ortlieb said in fractured English. "But I wasn't sure."

"Because I'm ninth in the Olympics doesn't mean I'm a bad person or a bad skier," Kitt said. "A lot of people don't understand that, but that's how I look at it."

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