Time to say good-bye: Retirements in Cross-Country Skiing
Every season end is marked by the retirement of athletes who bring down the curtain on their careers. This year is no exception. The retiring stars of Cross-Country Skiing include many that have played a key role in defining the sport in the past years. Read the summary below, including social media links to posts on their retirement.
The upcoming 2015/16 season will take place without ace Celine Brun-Lie (NOR) who competed on the World Cup for eight years and collected eight World Cup podiums.
Team sprint bronze medallist Riika Sarasoja-Lilja (FIN) has also ended her career after competing for almost 14 years with 183 World Cup starts.
For the second time, Cross-Country skiing legend Claudia Nystad (GER) ended her long and successful career at the last World Cup event of the season in Oslo (NOR). Nystad won four medals in relay and an individual silver at the Olympic Winter Games. She also collected five medals from World Championships, four World Cup wins and 26 World Cup podiums.
Canada’s ladies’ Cross-Country team will miss long-time member Perianne Jones. Jones represented Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and was a member 11 years member of the senior national squad for eleven years during which she earned two World Cup team sprint podiums.
On the men’s side, 2010 Olympic relay gold medallist Anders Södergren (SWE) retired from professional skiing after the World Championships in his home country in Falun. Södergren can look back on a great career with two Olympic Winter Games medals, five World Championship medals and 14 individual World Cup podiums.
Squadra Azzura will be miss its icon, Giorgio Di Centa who will leave the World Cup team and continue his career in popular long distance competitions. Di Centa debuted in the World Cup in 1993 on home soil in Santa Caterina. The highlight of his career came at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino where he won two gold medals; one in 50 km mass start free and one in the relay. Di Centa is also a two-time World Championship medallist in skiathlon and landed on the World Cup podium twelve times.
Furthermore, Cyril Gaillard (FRA) ended his World Cup career. Gaillard spent seven years on the circuit with 21 World Cup appearances and one start at Olympic Winter Games.