Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather took to Instagram on March 25th to announce she has chosen to retire. Rather than writing a tribute to her career, Weirather posted a video to her IGTV to express her gratitude to her team, family, and friends, for sticking by her side through all the ups and downs.
As expressed in her goodbye video, Weirather’s career got off to a rocky start. Before pushing out of the World Cup start gate for the first time at 21-years-old, she had already undergone three knee operations. Now, at 30, Weirather walks away from her career a two-time super G crystal globe winner, an Olympic bronze medalist, and a World Championship silver medalist. Weirather has collected 41 World Cup podiums, nine of which are victories. She has won in the super G, downhill, and the giant slalom.
Towards the end of the 2019/20 season, Weirather began to express concern and hesitation prior to a few races, in which she chose to withdraw in order to preserve herself and her body. But retirement had been at the back of her mind before the 2019/20 season started. Prior to her first event in Lake Louise, Weirather had been cleaning out her office when she came across a journal she had kept as a young racer. At the age of 17, when she already had two injured knees and no results, Weirather wrote down a few long term goals – to win an Olympic medal, to win a World Championship medal, to win in three disciplines, and to win a crystal globe. She said the moment brought tears to her eyes, as she realized she at reached all of those goals.
“The time as a ski racer is extremely intense and exhausting,” she expressed in her video. “I think I overestimated the right moment of retiring. I had this idea that I wanted to be at the very top, and healthy, and then say goodbye. In fact, though, when you’re at the top and healthy you probably don’t retire. It’s more about a feeling you get. The feeling of being ready for something new. I’ve given it my all, I left no stone unturned, I’ve reached my potential, and so this moment comes with no regrets.”
Weirather says she had pictured partying and traveling after she announced her retirement, but now she is using the time at home to process and reflect. She’s not quite sure what the future holds, the only thing she knows is she will continue to work with sponsors, and she’s excited to see where she goes next.