Noora Räty, the fortress of Finland’s hockey team for more than a decade and arguably the world’s best goalie of her generation, announced her retirement from the national team at age 33.
“When I played my first national match against Sweden in October 2004, I would never have guessed what kind of journey I would still have: It was a privilege and unforgettable trip!” Räty posted Friday, according to an Instagram translation from Finnish. “My national team career ended on Monday 17.1 at 20:30 [Jan. 17, 2022], that I don’t have a place in the Olympic team this time.”
Räty, who made it to four Olympics and nine world championships and played more than 200 games for the Naisleijonat (Lady Lions), disputed her omission from Finland’s Olympic team this past winter.
“What helped me move on was for example a phone call I received, where I was told the truth and that other coaches except the head coach wanted to pick me to Beijing,” Räty wrote in the post. “The claim that Anni [Keisala, named best goalie of the tournament at the 2021 Worlds] was the choice of all coaches as the number one goalkeeper was also refuted. (@annikeisala you are a boss 😎💪🏻)! Moral of the matter: be honest. Always speak the truth, even if the truth is unpleasant.”
Räty won six bronze medals between the Olympics and world championships (all behind the U.S. and Canada).
She earned silver in her last major tournament at the 2019 Worlds in her hometown of Espoo. Finland beat Canada in the semifinals, then appeared to beat the U.S. in overtime in the final. But Petra Nieminen‘s golden goal was controversially disallowed upon review for goalie interference. The U.S. later won in a shootout.
Räty, who contemplated retirement after the 2014 Olympics, was named best goalie at the world championship a record five times, including in 2019.
Räty, who just published a book titled “Leijona-Kuningatar” (Lion Queen), will be China’s goalie coach at next year’s world championship, according to Finnish media.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk