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Luge legend Natalie Geisenberger retires

Natalie Geisenberger

YANQING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 08: Gold medallist Natalie Geisenberger of Team Germany celebrates winning the Women’s Singles Luge Run 4 on day four of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Sliding Centre on February 08, 2022 in Yanqing, China. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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German Natalie Geisenberger, who owns a record seven Olympic luge medals, announced her retirement from the sport at age 35.

“Time to say goodbye,” she opened a social media post captioning a photo of her with her Olympic medals and her women’s record eight World Cup season title trophies.

“I couldn’t be more grateful and proud,” she wrote, according to an International Luge Federation translation. “It’s always been my dream to end my career with two big smiles on my face.”

Geisenberger’s last competition was the 2022 Winter Games, where she became the first woman to win three Olympic singles luge titles.

She announced in July 2022 that she was pregnant with her second child and would miss the 2022-23 season.

Geisenberger had planned to end her career after her third Olympics in 2018, then returned from childbirth for the 2020-21 season, when she won her eighth and final World Cup season title.

A promising youth skier, she received an invitation to an introduction to sledding course through her elementary school at age 9.

Geisenberger later won a medal in all seven of her Olympic events when including the team relay, which debuted in 2014: three golds each in singles and the relay, plus a singles bronze in her Olympic debut in 2010.

She is the only woman to enter at least seven Winter Olympic events in any sport and win a medal in all of them.

Germany fared well without her last season. Julia Taubitz won her second consecutive World Cup season title. Anna Berreiter won the world championship.

Taubitz, Berreiter and Dajana Eitberger swept the top three spots at worlds and in the World Cup season standings.