Sampaa Lajunen, nordic combined gold medalist, retires at 25

Sampaa Lajunen, nordic combined gold medalist, retires at 25{mosimage}While most athletes with a career record like Sampaa Lajunen’s would be looking to repeat at the 2006 Winter Games (Lajunen won three gold medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games), the 25-year-old Finn has decided to put an early end to his impressive nordic-combined career to focus on music.

Lajunen, who finished third in the 2003-04 World Cup standings, has earned 20 World Cup victories and two overall crystal globe titles (2000, 1997). But this season, he was only able to claim one victory, in Nayoro, Japan, and, he says, that just isn’t good enough.

The young Finn, who sings, plays guitar and writes his own music, is the leader of the popular Finnish group Vieraileva Tähti.

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