The end of the Olympic cycle season marked the announcement of the following athletes' retirement from competitive snowboarding, including Olympic and World Champions.
The biggest name on the list of alpine riders is Julia Dujmovits (AUT) who won gold in parallel slalom at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (RUS). Debuting on the World Cup tour in 2003, the two-time Olympian competed in 136 FIS World Cup races, bringing home 22 podiums including four wins.
In addition, the 30-year-old claimed silver at the FIS World Championships in 2013 and 2015. Julia will now focus on her studies and plans on starting a new career as a yoga coach.
The finals of the FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour in Winterberg (GER) also marked the last performances for a number of other athletes.
One of them is Stefanie Mueller (SUI). The 25-year-old will concentrate on her university studies. Debuting in 2008, the three-time silver medallist at Junior World Championships competed in 62 races on the World Cup tour, where she had ten top ten finishes. In addition, she represented Switzerland at the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Also the German duo of Alexander Bergmann and Patrick Bussler waved good-bye at their final event in Winterberg. Bergmann, the 2007 Junior World Champion looks back on 88 World Cup starts in which he celebrated one win in Bad Gastein (AUT). The 33-year-old Bussler podiumed four times in 142 World Cup starts and was in four Olympic Winter Games, with a fourth and sixth place finish in 2014 being his best career results. In addition, the father of two raced 15 times at World Championships, earning a bronze medal in 2009.
Also 2010 Olympic silver medallist Ekaterina Ilyukhina (RUS) hung up her board after 104 FIS World Cup starts.
Eri Yanetani (JPN) retired after not making the national cut for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. The 2006 and 2010 Olympic athlete represented her home country at every World Championship since 2001 and looks back on 142 World Cup starts in which a fourth rank in Sierra Nevada (ESP) in 2005 was her best result.
Last week, Swiss Snowboard announced the retirement of Elena Koenz. The 30-year-old earned two FIS World Cup podiums and crowned herself Big Air World Champion in Kreischberg (AUT) in 2015.
Another slopestyle specialist who decided to say good-bye is Clemens Schattschneider (AUT) who retired mid-season to become a personal coach. The 2011 Snowboard big air and slopestyle World Cup title winner earned three podium finishes on the World Cup circuit of which one was a win. He also represented his home country at three FIS World Championships and at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
2015 FIS Snowboard Cross World Champion Luca Matteotti (ITA) decided to step back from competitive sport after the 2018 Erzurum World Cup event. The 2014 Olympian, who finished sixth at the Sochi Olympics, competed in 56 World Cup races where he podiumed three times and celebrated a win in Lech (AUT) in 2010.
Fighting a serious infection for more than one and a half years, Stian Sivertzen (NOR) decided to retire from competitive snowboarding. The Norwegian Viking celebrated two wins in 54 FIS World Cup starts and represented his country at five World Championships, securing bronze in 2013. In addition, the two-time Olympian narrowly missedthe Olympic podium in Sochi by placing fifth in a thrilling men's final.
Other athletes who decided to end their careers include Simona Meiler and Alexandra Hasler (both SUI). Meiler looks back on 13 winters on tour, including 66 World Cup starts which included two podium finishes as well as three Olympic appearances. Her 20-year-old teammate Hasler, 2015 Europa Cup title winner and 2018 Olympian, had to put an early end to her young career due to three shoulder injuries.