National (ice) Hockey League Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux says he will not skate for Canada at the Turin Winter Olympics in February.
The 40-year-old Lemieux says he told Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky of his decision a few days ago. The Olympics begin in Italy on February 10. He captained Canada to its first Olympic gold medal in 50 years at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. This will be the third time that National Hockey League players will participate in the Olympics.
Lemieux, who is also part-owner of the Penguins, spent a night in the hospital earlier this week after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during practice. Lemieux will be examined again by doctors and hopes to return to the ice shortly.