Martin Schmitt announces retirement
German ski jumping legend Martin Schmitt announced his retirement on Friday at a press conference in Willingen together with Dr. Franz Steinle, president of the German Ski Association (DSV), and head coach Werner Schuster.
"I tried everything I could this season in order to be among the best ski jumpers again. Unfortunately I wasn't able to improve and stabilize my performance and achieve top results consistently. And so I also didn't qualify for a spot on the Olympic team and I had to realize that the dream of a fourth Olympic medal will not come true at the end of my career", Martin Schmitt said about the reasons for his decision.
"Even if it wasn't successful, I still have many positive memories of this last season, with a very special and emotional good-bye at the New Year's competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. That's why I decided to end my career in ski jumping. This decision wasn't easy because ski jumping was my passion and fulfillment at the same time."
The 36-year-old now wants to focus on his training to become a coach, but he will still stay involved in ski jumping also after the end of his career. "This education is important for me and now, after the end of my career, I can pursue it more intensively", Martin Schmitt said about his plans for the future. "I will also work with young athletes within the DSV because I really want to pass on my knowledge and experience."
Martin Schmitt made his debut in the World Cup in January 1997 and won a total of 28 World cup competitions. He won the overall World Cup title twice and the ski flying World Cup once. The athlete of the Black Forest is a four-time World Champion and won Olympic Gold with the team in Salt Lake City 2002.