July 9, 2021

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Olympic ski champ Anna Veith retires

Olympic ski champion Anna Veith has twice returned to the highest from severe knee accidents.

A yr after blowing out her knee for the third time, the 2014 super-G gold medallist from Austria is leaving the game.

Veith introduced her retirement stay on Austrian TV on Saturday, ending a profession marred by accidents since she gained her second general World Cup title in 2015.

“It was not a difficult decision. For me it feels 100% right,” mentioned Veith, who turns 31 in June.

Veith’s announcement in a prime-time TV present resembled the way in which Marcel Hirscher mentioned farewell to ski racing nearly 9 months in the past.

Veith was the final energetic general World Cup champion from Austria since Hirscher’s retirement. The report eight-time males’s general champion grew up in the identical area as Veith within the Salzburg province, and the 2 frolicked at college collectively.

Anna Veith is a two-time general World Cup champion. (Alain Grosclaude/Getty Photos)

Veith gained 15 World Cup races from 2011 to 2017, and picked up eight medals from main occasions, together with 4 golds.

Her most up-to-date medal was silver in super-G on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, the place she was famously crushed to the title by Ester Ledecka, the Czech athlete who later additionally gained gold in snowboarding.

“It was the most emotional day of my career,” Veith mentioned. “It was important during my recovery from injury that I could dream of something. That gave me motivation for training. In Korea I felt I achieved that dream.”

She competed underneath her maiden identify, Fenninger, till she married former snowboarder Manuel Veith 4 years in the past and was on the peak of her profession in 2015.

After successful the Olympic super-G in 2014 (“I had dreamed of that since I was five years old”), Veith claimed the game’s largest prize, the general World Cup, for a second straight yr and left the world championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, with two golds and a silver.

Within the low season, Veith fought out a bitter dispute with the Austrian ski federation about her then supervisor, and about her want to have one of many group physicians working completely for her.

Veith even threatened to go away the federation and she or he provokingly appeared in an promoting marketing campaign for Mercedes, a rival model of the federation’s automobile sponsor, Audi.

However Veith broke together with her supervisor and was again on talking phrases with the federation earlier than the beginning of the brand new season.

Marred by knee accidents

Nonetheless, she badly broken her proper knee in a coaching crash in Soelden, Austria, three days earlier than the opening race in October 2015.

Veith returned to the slopes in December 2016, solely to chop her season brief two months later with left knee issues.

She efficiently labored her approach again to the circuit once more, triumphing for the ultimate time in a World Cup in December 2017 and successful her third Olympic medal two months later.

Veith staged one other comeback after tearing the ACL in her proper knee once more in January 2019, however she managed simply two top-10 outcomes from 11 begins.

“The body told me how much training was possible. I missed a lot of training days,” she mentioned. “I still liked to race but the real motivation was lacking after Korea.”

Austrian broadcaster ORF confirmed tributes from a number of opponents, together with former general champions Maria Hoefl-Riesch (“Congratulations, you have achieved everything”), Tina Maze (“We had the best competition in the World Cup”) and Lara Intestine (“Austria can be proud of you, as an athlete and as a human being”).

Hirscher additionally praised Veith in a video message.

“I have closely followed your career from the very start,” Hirscher mentioned. “You were a role model.”

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