USA’s Adam Loomis and Germany's Michael Dünkel retire
American Nordic Combined athlete Adam Loomis has announced his retirement from high performance sports on his personal blog. Loomis, who can look back on 30 World Cup starts and four participations at the World Championships in Falun and Lahti lists a lack of improvement, specifically in the ski jumping part, a lack of belief in turning around this situation, the loss of fun and excitement for the sport and a wish to broaden his horizons as reasons for hanging up his skis.
“I want to be clear that I’m leaving this sport without an inkling of bitterness. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as an athlete, and even more grateful for the way this sport has shaped who I am.”
“Beyond just this winter, I’ve struggled to reach my jumping goals for years. But right now, to believe that this will change next year, or the year after, is beyond my ability. Moreover, I’m realizing that ski jumping is so often such a challenge for me that it’s often not fun, even in training. The sense of commitment, towards one cause, with a group of like-minded highly motivated individuals is a pleasure that I have always cherished. Despite my lack of confidence in my abilities as a Nordic Combined skier, I have plenty of confidence for my future because of who I am”, Loomis wrote.
He finished: “Read this and know how fortunate I am to be sitting where I am, reflecting on my experiences. A look back into the archives of this blog is proof enough of the infinitely positive influence that Nordic Combined has had on me. Know that it’s because of you, all of you, reading this, that I’ve had these opportunities. You should be proud of yourself, as a supporter of a very lucky guy. I hear there’s a great big world out there. For now, I’ll get my feet wet and see if I learn to swim. One thing is for sure, I haven’t lost my love for staying active. If you want to find me, as much now as ever, look for the mountains.”
Also German athlete Michael Dünkel called it quits after eight starts in the World Cup. The 28-year-old cites missing perspectives and motivation as the reason to end his career in Nordic Combined.
"It has been amazing 15 years of an athlete's life for me, with all ups and downs that the ultimate winter sport can offer. I was able to travel the world, make some friends and experience things that many people only dream of. Nobody will be able to take these experiences from me. I'd like to thank my coaches Marco Baacke and Danny Queck, who planned, pondered, trained, laughed, cried, gossiped and philosophised with me. Thanks also to my fans, my training buddies my friend and especially my partner. I was not always easy with me, with all this sport, healthy eating and being alone all the time but different times are coming now. The biggest thank goes to my family, who has always supported me."