Austrian skiing star Anna Veith announced her retirement from the sport on Saturday, ending a stellar career at the age of 30.
Veith won super-G Olympic gold and giant slalom silver in Sochi in 2014, followed by super-G silver at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
“The dreams that I have for the future have changed in the last few years and therefore I’d like to end my active ski career,” she said in an at times emotional interview with ORF public television.
She said the decision felt “100 percent right” and had been taken “for a mix of reasons”, while admitting that the toll on her body had been a factor.
Her career had been hit hard by injuries.
Veith missed 14 months of action between October 2015 and December 2016 with serious right knee injuries and called a day on her 2017 season with left knee problems.
In January 2019 her season was cut short by yet another knee injury.
“In a physical sense, it doesn’t get any easier over the years to stay 100 percent fit and get what you need for competitive sport,” Veith said.
Her latest season was stopped prematurely due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“This last year I did everything in my power to come back again and find confidence but I just wasn’t able to get to where I wanted to be,” she said in a statement released through the Austrian Ski Federation.
Veith’s announcement comes a few months after her compatriot Marcel Hirscher, a multiple world and Olympic champion, similarly took the decision to end his career in Alpine skiing.
He made the decision to retire after winning a record eighth consecutive overall World Cup title, two more than fellow Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who won six large globes.
Hirscher congratulated Veith on her successful career and said she had been a role model for him in his own career.
“You will enjoy it in future, even if it’s not so easy at first,” Hirscher said, adding that he was sure it would be a “very, very good decision” on Veith’s part.