Carlo Janka, Olympic gold medalist ski racer, World Cup overall champion, to retire
Carlo Janka, who in 2010 won the Olympic giant slalom and the World Cup overall title, will retire after this weekend’s races and not go for a fourth Olympics.
Janka, 35, made the decision for health reasons, according to the Swiss ski federation.
He has not raced outside of training runs this season, after dealing with a back injury and a coronavirus infection in the fall.
He did take part in one downhill training run in Wengen to become eligible to start Friday and Saturday’s downhill races.
Janka, nicknamed the “Iceman” for his laid-back personality and skiing style, remains the youngest man to win an individual world title in the last 20 years. He was 22 when he won the 2009 World title in the GS, and it augured further success.
In 2009-10, Janka won six World Cup races among four disciplines in a season highlight by his Olympic giant slalom gold medal. He remains the youngest man to win an individual Olympic Alpine skiing title in the last 15 years.
In 2011, he underwent minor heart surgery for an irregular heartbeat and never got back to the form of his early 20s. At a low point in the 2012-13 season, he said, “I should ski with the women now.”
Janka’s best finish in the last two Olympics was sixth in the downhill in 2014. He will finish his career with 11 World Cup victories.
“I am happy that I have these three, four very good years at the beginning,” Janka said. “The rest was a little bit of a fight, but no regrets at all.”
His retirement leaves 37-year-old Italian slalom skier Giuliano Razzoli as the lone active 2010 Olympic Alpine skiing gold medalist.
Janka departs as 24-year-old Marco Odermatt bids to become the first Swiss since Janka to win the World Cup men’s overall title.
NBC Olympic research and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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