Australian Anna Meares, the most decorated Olympic women’s track cyclist with six medals, announced her retirement Sunday at age 33.
Meares shared the news via a 300-word Facebook post listing her career accomplishments, accompanied by a photo of her carrying the Australian flag into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.
“I am really proud of my longevity, also proud of the level of high consistency in my performances and results during my career,” Meares said, according to Cycling Australia. “It is hard to close this chapter, because it is a bloody big one, but I am really excited about the doors opening in to the next chapter of my life.”
Meares began her Olympic career at Athens 2004, taking gold in the time trial, and added an individual sprint gold at London 2012. In between, she came back from a January 2008 broken neck to take individual sprint silver at the Beijing Games.
Meares ended her Olympic career with keirin bronze in Rio.
“I kind of knew that I was leaning this way prior to Rio, but I needed to shelve that to be able to put all of my focus into getting to Rio and performing there at my very best and then reassess when I got home,” Meares told Australian media. “I have had to consider [three] things in this decision. Do I want it? Can I do it? And obviously the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games [in 2018].”
Meares is from Blackwater, Queensland, which is in the same Australian state as Gold Coast.
Meares and sister Kerrie were profiled in Bud Greenspan‘s 2004 Olympic film.Follow @nzaccardi