Croatia's Kostelic says gold 'not a miracle'
Croatia's Ivica Kostelic clears a gate during the first run of the Men's Slalom at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Wengen on January 19, 2014 - by Fabrice Coffrini
"My goal is a medal, preferably a gold one. It would not be a miracle," the 34-year-old told reporters at the Zagreb airport just before leaving for Russia.
"To be realistic, I'm not that bad that it (the gold medal) would be a miracle," he added.
In this season's World Cup, Kostelic has ended among the first 10 only once -- in slalom at Levi, Finland, in November. He currently holds 38th position in the overall standings.
"I had a short break ... and I feel better after it. I was working on my shape. For the time being my health is good.
"I'm especially motivated by the Olympic Games and I'm motived to achieve what I wish," stressed the slalom specialist.
Kostelic won the 2011 World Cup and three Olympic silver medals -- the combined in 2006 in Turin and the super-combined and slalom in Vancouver in 2010.
In the past the Zagreb-born star had a series of health problems notably on his troubled right knee, subjected to years of wear and tear on the slopes. The latest surgery, the 10th on the right knee, took place last May.
Kostelic's sister Janica became the first woman to win four gold medals in Olympic Alpine skiing history.
She retired from competitive skiing in 2007 at the age of 25 due to long-standing health and injury problems.