Austria's double Olympic champion Raich retires

Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:19pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Austria's former world and Olympic ski champion Benjamin Raich announced his retirement on Thursday, citing a lack of motivation to continue racing at the age of 37.

"I no longer have the motivation to go the limit and you need that in ski racing," the winner of four Olympic and 10 world championship medals said in an Austrian Ski Team interview on YouTube.

"I have lived through a lot and been very successful. But now is a good time to make this decision and take another step forward."

Raich, who is married to retired Austrian slalom skier Marlies Schild, won 36 World Cup races in all disciplines except downhill in 19 seasons.

He was overall World Cup champion in 2006, the year he won gold at the Turin Olympics in slalom and giant slalom.

"Possibly the fairest sportsman I've ever raced against, no matter if winning or losing with the smallest margin," said Norwegian rival Aksel Lund Svindal, a two-times World Cup overall champion, on Twitter.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

 
Austrian Alpine skiing World Cup champion Benjamin Raich addresses a news conference announcing his retirement from professional competition, in Vienna, Austria, September 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader