Germany to send 152 athletes to Sochi Olympics

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BERLIN (AP) - Germany is sending 152 athletes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi with the aim of returning with 30 medals.

“That was, is and remains our fundamental aim. Nothing has changed that and nothing will change that,” German Olympic Sports Confederation president Alfons Hoermann said Thursday.

The DOSB is sending 77 female and 75 male athletes, accompanied by a team of 171 coaches and advisers.

Four individual gold medalists from the 2010 Vancouver Games are traveling to Sochi: Alpine skiers Maria Hoefl-Riesch and Viktoria Rebensburg, along with lugers Tatjana Huefner and Felix Loch.

Speedskater Stephanie Beckert, who won team gold four years ago, will also compete, along with cross-country team sprint winners Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Claudia Nystad. Sachenbacher-Stehle is only competing in biathlon, however.

Germany sent 153 athletes to Vancouver, where they claimed 10 gold, 13 silver and seven bronze medals - a gold haul bettered only by Canada’s.

DOSB director general Michael Vesper brushed aside fears of terrorist threats and potential attacks during the games.

“I don’t want to play them down but there have often been, if not always been, terror threats before other major events. I only need to recall (the 2012 Olympics in) London,” Vesper said. “We’re not going to bow to the threats that are being made there. We have to assume that everyone’s safety is guaranteed.”

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