Paolo Bernardi, the coach of the top-ranked U.S. women's ski jumpers from Park City who fought for years to be included in the Olympics, has quit unexpectedly just three weeks before the start of the World Cup season leading up to the Sochi Olympics in Russia.
Bernardi announced the move in a post Thursday on his Facebook page, which was later deleted. However, the International Ski Federation posted the news on its web site Saturday, quoting the coach's announcement.
"I resign for personal reasons and it was a hard decision," Bernardi said. "I keep loving and following this sport and I hope to find another team soon that can give me the motivation to start again."
The U.S. Ski Team has made no announcements about the move, and spokeswomen for the federation and the ski-jumping team could not be reached for comment. Neither could Sarah Hendrickson, the 19-year-old reigning world champion from Park City who's recovering from a knee injury she suffered in August and hoping to be fit in time for the Olympics in February.
The World Cup season starts Dec. 6 in Lillehammer, Norway.