Johannes Ludwig, who became the oldest man to win Olympic luge gold days shy of turning 36, is leaving the sport on top.
Ludwig announced his retirement on social media on Monday, saying he was looking forward to a new chapter, spending time with his family and in his role with the federal police. The post included a photo of Ludwig with his children, Carlson and Winnie.
“Luge has been the essence of my life since I was 6 years old,” Ludwig said, according to an International Luge Federation translation. “In the past 30 years, almost every day was determined by skating and demanded a great deal of deprivation from me, but also from my family environment.”
Ludwig previously said he would likely end his career at the 2023 World Championships in his hometown of Oberhof. Instead, he will be an ambassador for that event as he stays connected with the sport.
In China, Ludwig delivered on gold-medal predictions with the fastest run in three of the four heats, winning by 16 hundredths over Austrian Wolfgang Kindl after nearly four minutes of total racing.
It was the culmination of years of challenges — missing the three-man Olympic team by one spot in 2010 and 2014 before earning bronze in 2018, plus finishing fourth at the world championships on five occasions.
Ludwig also won gold with Germany in the Olympic team relay in 2018 and 2022.
Germany’s other gold-medal singles sliders, 34-year-old Natalie Geisenberger and 32-year-old Felix Loch, are expected to continue competing.
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