LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold on Monday announced her retirement from skeleton, saying she was “ready for a new chapter” in her life.
The first Briton to retain a Winter Games title when she won gold at Pyeongchang 2018, the 29-year-old now plans to help the country’s young athletes as they prepare for future Olympics.
“It has been an amazing 10 years of my life, and I have been lucky enough to learn from amazing coaches and be part of this team,” Yarnold told the BBC on Monday.
“It was never just me by myself. So I can take this opportunity to thank everyone for helping me achieve my dreams.
“When I came into the sport I wanted to go to the Olympics and now I have achieved everything I could have dreamed of and more.”
Over a 10-year career, Yarnold won every major trophy in the sport, including World Championship, World Cup and European Championship titles, before claiming her second Olympic gold medal in South Korea eight months ago.
Yarnold won her first Winter Games title at Sochi in 2014 and by successfully defending her Olympic crown in Pyeongchang, moved ahead of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and Jeanette Altwegg, who each won gold and bronze in figure skating, as the most decorated British Winter Olympian.
“Lizzy has given everything to our sport and she undoubtedly deserves her status as a true great,” British Skeleton’s Head of Performance, Danny Holdcroft, said in a statement.
“Her drive and desire to defend her Olympic title was a shining example of digging deep into both physical and mental trenches to achieve a dream.”
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)