Two-time Olympic champion Alpine skier and Slovenian singing sensation Tina Maze will sit out next season before deciding if she will return to competition.
“After 16 long and successful seasons, practicing all disciplines, I feel that my body and my mind need a longer rest than usual,” Maze, 32 and a four-time Olympian with a single viewed some one million times across YouTube, said on her website. “I will allow myself a one year break before taking any further decision.”
Maze was the only male or female Alpine skier to win multiple gold medals at the Sochi Olympics, tying for the downhill title and taking the super combined by herself. She said after her final race in Sochi that she would not ski through the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games.
This past season, Maze captured two golds and one silver at the World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colo., in February, giving her nine career Worlds medals.
In 2012-13, Maze accumulated the greatest season point total in World Cup history, male or female. She fell to fourth and second in the overall standings the last two years, including an agonizing 22 points shy of Anna Fenninger for this past season’s title.
In Maze’s absence, Fenninger, 25 and the two-time reigning World Cup overall champ, and Lindsey Vonn, 30 and a four-time World Cup overall champ, are the favorites to capture the 2015-16 World Cup overall title. It is the only season in the quadrennium with no Olympics or World Championships.
Olympic and World slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin may complicate matters. The 20-year-old appears to be working on speed-event training again. Shiffrin has never raced a World Cup super-G, downhill or super combined but had hoped to last season before early slalom struggles changed her plans.
The World Cup season starts in October.