Time to say good-bye: Ski Jumping retirements
The end of the season marks a time for many athletes to hang up their skis and start a new chapter in their lives. Below is a round-up of key retirements in Ski Jumping.
One of the most famous ski flyers, Bjoern Einar Romoeren (NOR), kept his retirement a secret until the very last moment. The long-time record holder for the longest jump of 239 metres (until 2011), announced his retirement at the season finals in Planica (SLO) after his final jump. "If this would have been a Ski Flying event, I would have announced it a little earlier and we could have had a little celebration", Romoeren commented on his decision to not announce his retirement earlier.
One day earlier, Austria‘s Ski Flying specialist, Martin Koch, hung up his skis. The 32-year-old won five World Cup competitions and took individual silver and bronze at the 2008 and 2012 FIS Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) and Vikersund (NOR), respectively. In addition, Koch had much success with the Austrian team including Olympic gold in the team competition in Torino 2006 and six gold medals at FIS Ski Jumping and Ski Flying World Championship events.
From Team Japan, Takanobu Okabe, a veteran of the sport, will end his career at the age of 43 years. At a World Cup level, Okabe has five victories and an additional 18 podium finishes under his belt. In addition, Okabe won Olympic gold and silver at the team competitions in Nagano (JPN) 1998 and Lillehammer (NOR) 1994, and took the individual World Championship title in 1995 at Thunder Bay (CAN).
Other athletes who have decided to end to their careers include Borek Sedlak (CZE), Ilia Rosliakov (RUS) and Fumihisa Yumoto (JPN) on the men’s side, and Wendy Vuik (NED) and Bigna Windmueller (SUI) on the ladies‘ side.