France’s Pierre Vaultier, a 2014 and 2018 Olympic snowboard cross champion, retired following knee problems that sidelined him for nearly two years.
Vaultier, 33, has complications from inflammatory arthritis of one of his knees, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS).
“THE END OF A CHAPTER after years of emotions, experiences, victories and defeats I must resign from my racing carrier (sic),” was posted on Vaultier’s social media. “For some reasons the cartilage of my knee vanished in the past few months.”
Vaultier said he spent 17 months “fighting to get back on my feet,” including 12 months on crutches, according to FIS.
“While the pathology is still unknown, what we do know is there has been a total deterioration of the cartilage of the knee joint, leaving the only solution to be an installation of a full prosthesis,” Vaultier said, according to FIS. “The consequences of fitting a prosthesis are clear — I am obliged to limit impacts on the knee and therefore to stop the practice of competitive snowboarding.”
In 2014, Vaultier won the Sochi Olympic title three months after an ACL tear. In 2018, he repeated despite being involved in a multi-rider crash in the semifinals.
Vaultier last competed in December 2018.
Austrian Alessandro Hämmerle topped the World Cup season standings the last two years. American Mick Dierdorff is the reigning world champion from 2019 in Park City, Utah.
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