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The end of an era: Dario Cologna retires from Cross-Country skiing

Mar 22, 2022·Cross-Country
All images by NordicFocus

With the retirement of Dario Cologna, one of Switzerlands greatest Cross-Country skiers puts his skis on the shelf. The now 36 year-old had announced already in autumn 2021 that this Olympic season was his last one as a professional athlete: “The decision came within the last months and after the Olympics, it will be the perfect timing for me. I have achieved everything I ever dreamed of in the sport.”

Indeed, Dario Cologna has influenced the Cross-Country world throughout his career and the 16 seasons he was racing in the World Cup. As the first Swiss ever, he won the Overall World Cup in the season 2008/09 for the first time. Three more big Crystal Globes followed after the seasons 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2014/15.

Breakthrough season

The Distance expert hit his first top-10 result in Rybinsk in the season 2007/08 in the 30km in Free technique. More top-10 results followed and paved the way for the successes in the following seasons.

In December 2008, he took the yellow bib for the lead in the Cross-Country World Cup as the first Swiss athlete in history. Without taking a stage win – but by top results throughout the following Tour de Ski – Cologna won the third Tour de Ski after being ranked 30th the year before.

To his Tour de Ski victory in 2007/08 followed three more Overall Tour victories in 2010/11 and 2011/12 and again six years later in 2017/18.

Switzerlands greatest Cross-Country skier

Dario Cologna did not only set significant individual results in his career as an elite Cross-Country skier, but also set milestones for the Swiss Cross-Country team.

On 15th February 2010, the then 23 year-old claimed Olympic gold in Vancouver in the 15km Free technique – and became the first Swiss Cross-Country gold medalist at Olympic Winter Games. In addition, it was the first Olympic medal for a Swiss Cross-Country skier since 1988.

Along with Petter Northug, Lukáš Bauer, Alexander Legkov and Martin Johnsrud Sundby and many other significant Cross-Country athletes that influenced the modern times skiing, Dario Cologna found his spot among the top-favourites.

“I never lost the joy for skiing and for the training and preparation phases. That motivated me to continue and I never felt like I went on too long. I kept my expectations high, according to how my body felt like. But now the right time has come and I am looking forward to spend more time at home.”Dario Cologna

Dario Cologna’s skiing has influenced the Cross-Country sport in the past 15 years and he has paved the way for many young athletes from middle Europe, to follow into his footsteps. Thank you Dario, for many superb moments on the race course, thank you for all you have given the sport and for all young athletes you inspired. The FIS Cross-Country family wishes you all the best for your projects ahead.

Dario Cologna’s career in numbers:

4-time Olympic Gold Medalist: 2010 Vancouver | 2014 Sotchi (2x) | 2018 PyoengChang
World Champion: 2013 Val di Fiemme
Silver Medal at WSC: 2013 Val di Fiemme | 2015 Falun
4-time Overall World Cup winner
4-time Distance World Cup winner
4-time Tour de Ski winner
285 World Cup starts
73 World Cup podiums
26 individual World Cup victories

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