Independent Canadian skier, Larisa Yurkiw, announced her retirement for the FIS Alpine World Cup circuit on Wednesday. The speed skier ended up third overall in the World Cup downhill rankings this season behind American Lindsey Vonn and Switzerland’s Fabienne Suter.

“It’s difficult to summarize a 10-year international career in a post,” the Canadian shared on Instagram. “I’m most grateful for these last three independent seasons full of real-life tests and real-life rewards.”


Yurkiw’s career has been plagued by injury and the continued pain played a huge factor in her decision to step back.

“Most recently, I had my 5th knee surgery on what was my ‘good knee’,” she continued to say in her post. “The load required to race at 140 km/h was being juggled between two less-than-athletic knees … I’ve defied odds with a ‘career-ending injury’ 6 years ago. My surgeon said last week, ‘I’m still impressed that you ever skied again, Larisa.'”

Now that her career is over, Yurkiw will pursue new interests. She told the National Post she “plans to do some public speaking and channel the experience of running Team Larisa – and tending to the logistics of skiing the World Cup as an independent – into a business career.”

Yurkiw also plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree in a program that credits undergraduate course work and real world experience such as negotiating contracts, hiring employees and managing a six-figure budget, which she boasts as part of her skill set.

See the list of additional World Cup retirees in our Premium section.