Mario Matt, Olympic slalom champion, retires

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Mario Matt, the Austrian who became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing champion in Sochi, announced his retirement Thursday.

“I’ve found out this season that ski racing isn’t the most important thing in my life anymore,” Matt said, according to The Associated Press. “While training on prepared, icy slopes, I knew I’d rather go powder skiing.”

Matt, 35, was a surprise gold medalist at the Winter Games, upsetting countryman Marcel Hirscher in the slalom. Matt came to Sochi with one World Cup victory since the 2010-11 season.

This season, Matt failed to finish the World Championships slalom and didn’t post any World Cup top-10s, his worst campaign since 2009-10.

The World Cup season continues — sans Matt — with a giant slalom and slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Saturday and Sunday.

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