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Swedish skier Anja Pärson calls it quits

Swedish skier Anja Pärson calls it quits

Published: 12 Mar 2012 08:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2012 08:32 GMT+01:00

She said this week's World Cup competition in Schladming, Austria, would be her last.

"My career has been fantastic and I've achieved more than I ever could have dreamed of," Pärson said in a statement published Monday on her official website.

Pärson, who debuted on the World Cup circuit in 1998, tallied 42 World Cup wins, including two overall titles in 2004 and 2005.

Her World Cup wins also included 18 slalom, 11 giant slalom, six downhill, four super-G and three super-combined.

In 2006, she captured a gold and two bronze medals at the Winter Olympics in Turin. She had previously won a silver and bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Pärson's final Olympic medal came in 2010 in Vancouver, where she managed a bronze medal in the combined event after recovering from a horrific crash that many feared might end her career.

Pärson cited a number of injuries in recent years in explaining her decision to call it quits.

"The spectacular crashes and extended problems with injuries in recent years have reduced my ability to perform at a top level," she said.

"It's mainly cartilage damage in my left knee that is causing problems and

I've reached a point in my life where both my body and mind are saying 'no'."

The decision comes following a disappointing finish for the 30-year-old Pärson at the weekend in a giant slalom event in Åre, in northwestern Sweden.

"This has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. At the same time, I'm curious and excited," she said.

"I've always been a fighter and this has been a tough decision, but after reflection and a great deal of discussion with myself I feel ready for new challenges in my life."

The Monaco-based Swede -- who hails from Tärnaby, the same small northern town as skiing legend Ingemar Stenmark -- said the 2010 Olympic bronze would remain one of her most cherished memories.

After a horrific crash in the downhill part of the super-combined that left her with severe bruising, Paerson decided to pursue the slalom the following day and finished with the bronze.

That feat tied her with former fierce rival Janica Kostelic of Croatia in having won six Olympic alpine skiing medals.

"The bronze medal in Whistler at the 2010 Olympics is (a great memory) on a personal level, because I conquered my mental ability. That hill was just not going to beat me!," she said.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:09 March 12, 2012 by OUIJA
Don't Cry for me Argentina: Anja Pärson
10:00 March 12, 2012 by skogsbo
I just hope she didn't do it after a certain US skiers whining comments.
13:52 March 12, 2012 by OUIJA
No @skogsbo. That would mean that she is smarter than the way she looks and talks. And that @skogsbo, would be just wishful thinking.

Besides, what you call "whining comments", were

made by one US skier and not "skiers". O.K. This was a typo.
14:53 March 12, 2012 by skogsbo
yes oui, I meant skier's not skier or skiers'.
17:41 March 12, 2012 by OUIJA
In my opinion, Mrs. Pärson has been the female Zlatan. Now, it is just a matter of waiting which other female "hero" is invented or supported by the Swedish tabloids.
19:02 March 12, 2012 by gpafledthis
How can one delete the two catfighters above ?? You two are akin to two crows fighting over roadkill !!
21:21 March 12, 2012 by dizzymoe33
She had a wonderful career I wish her well with what her future will bring her.
03:47 March 13, 2012 by gpafledthis
nothing unswede about dizzymoe33 I had to google Anja What a fuss !! A skier-a woman to keep you warn if the fire goes out-good teeth(no stinkin dentist for her)- in a Malmo bar fight she could hold her own-maybe milk 12 cows before breakfast-does not serve Lutefisk etc !! This Darwins dream of a woman !! Airfreight her to US quick if she is not your idea of a SWEDIE SWEETIE !!
16:42 March 16, 2012 by graceolsson
It´s time, Anja.
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