Latvian Martins Dukurs, arguably the greatest skeleton slider in history, retired at age 38.
“I made a decision, full of emotions but logical,” Dukurs, nicknamed “Superman,” posted on social media on Saturday, according to an International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) translation. “I have experienced defeats, great victories, indescribable excitement and will definitely miss competing. But sometimes you have to quit to take on new challenges in life.”
Dukurs holds the skeleton record for world championships (six), World Cup season titles (11) and World Cup race victories (61). He earned Olympic silver medals in 2010 and 2014, both times finishing behind a slider from the host nation who benefited from substantially more training experience on the track.
The IBSF reported that Dukurs retired in 2018, but he forged ahead after placing fourth in the PyeongChang Winter Games for one last shot at Olympic gold in Beijing. He ended up seventh at his fifth and last Olympics.
Dukurs is on the short list of greatest Olympians not to win a gold medal with the likes of Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Jeremy Wotherspoon (speed skating) and Marc Girardelli (Alpine skiing) in winter sports.
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