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Samantha Cesario retires from figure skating

Samantha Cesario

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL - OCTOBER 25: Samantha Cesario competes in the Ladies Short Program during the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America competition at the Sears Centre Arena on October 25, 2014 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Samantha Cesario, who finished fifth at the last two U.S. Championships, retired from figure skating competition, according to Icenetwork.com.

“It’s very difficult to give specific reasons as to why I have made the decision, because I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I think, as with any big decision in life, you have to listen to your heart and try to do what you feel is right for yourself,” the 21-year-old Cesario said, according to the report.

In 2014, Cesario, finished behind four Olympians at the U.S. Championships -- Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds, Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner. Gold, Edmunds and Wagner were named to the Sochi Olympic team.

In January, Cesario again finished fifth at the U.S. Championships -- behind Wagner, Gold, Karen Chen and Edmunds. Wagner, Gold and Edmunds were named to the World Championships team. Chen was too young for Worlds.

“Despite my love for the sport, I think it can be hard for people on the outside to fully understand that there is more that goes into a skater’s career than the scores they read at the end of an event,” Cesario said, according to the report. “I’m a skater who has always prided myself on my ability to perform for an audience and bring music to life. Unfortunately, at times, the new system didn’t lend itself to my strong suits, and that is something that wasn’t always easy to deal with.

“Even though I have often felt the frustration all skaters feel at one time or another regarding scores not mirroring the performances they put out on the ice, I’m very proud of what I contributed to the sport and I feel ready to move on to the next chapter.”

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