Paerson Chills by Watching Handball

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VELENJE, Slovenia (AP) - Anja Paerson has her own way of celebrating a big ski victory -- watching team handball.

The star Swede captured slalom and giant slalom World Cup races this weekend in Slovenia. Afterward, Paerson cheered her country's handball team at the European championships.

"Handball is hugely popular in Sweden, and the players are among the most popular athletes," the Slovene news agency STA quoted her as saying Monday. "I haven't had a privilege to personally meet any of them, but I'm their big fan."

Paerson, the overall World Cup leader, traveled to the handball venue in Velenje, about 40 miles from Maribor, where she won both races.

The Swedish team lost to Russia 30-27 on Sunday.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press