Norwegian legend, Aksel Lund Svindal, announced on Saturday night in Kitzbuehel, Austria, that the races at the World Championships in Are, Sweden, next month will be his last.
Svindal partook in the downhill training runs this week in Kitzbuehel before pulling out in order to save his body and focus on a strong performance at the World Champoinships. Then, at a black-tie gala in Kitzbuehel on Saturday evening, Svindal took to the stage and delivered the news to a standing ovation.
“I think it’s been a process over a longer period,” he told Ski Racing Media on Sunday. “This whole winter I kind of knew that it could possibly be my last one. More and more now I’ve had some troubles with some old injuries that really can’t handle these extreme conditions that well and I think that just pushed my decision a little bit. I have no regrets and I know it’s the right thing to do and I’m ready for a good couple of races at the World Championships and after that, I’m out!”
Svindal has four Olympic medals, eight World Championship medals, two Overall World Cup titles, nine discipline crystal globes, and 36 World Cup victories to his name. With any luck, his medal count will rise before he rides off into the sunset as undoubtedly one of the greatest champions the sport has ever seen.