German biathlete Laura Dahlmeier, who won the PyeongChang Olympic sprint and pursuit, has retired at age 25.
“After an unbelievably tough season full of ups and downs, I no longer feel the one hundred percent passion required for professional sport,” was posted on Dahlmeier’s Instagram in a surprise announcement. “That’s why I have decided to end my active biathlon career after some time of reflection.”
Dahlmeier earned two golds and a bronze at her second Olympics last year. That came one year after the avid mountain climber became the first biathlete to win five gold medals at a single world championships.
Dahlmeier missed the first two World Cup stops last season due to unspecified health setbacks, including hospitalization in August and September when she feared she may never compete again.
She returned to make three World Cup podiums and earn two world championships bronze medals while still not 100 percent. Dahlmeier posted on her website Friday that she still is not the same athlete she was before the hospitalization.
Her retirement at such a young age is reminiscent of countrywoman Magdalena Neuner, who earned 12 world titles and a pair of 2010 Olympic golds and then retired at age 25 in 2012, citing a similar lack of desire.
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Dear fans, friends, partners and companions – it's time to say goodbye! 👋 After an unbelievably tough season full of ups and downs, I no longer feel the one hundred percent passion required for professional sport. That's why I have decided to end my active biathlon career after some time of reflection. Since my childhood, I have dedicated myself completely to biathlon, I was able to experience incredibly great and intense moments and got to know some wonderful companions and supporters, without whom all this would not have been possible. Many thanks for all the years I spent in this sport – they made me who I am! 🙏 To make room for new adventures, it's time for me to close the biathlon chapter. A detailed report about my reasons for ending my career can be found on my website – link in bio. I am looking forward to what is awaiting me now – see you out there! 🙂 Best, Laura ✌️ #bettertobefAst