After three seasons with title events, and with two or three years to go before the next FIS World Championships or Olympic Winter Games, respectively, some well-known athletes in the skiing circuit are putting an end to their careers. The retiring stars include a few that have played a key role in defining the sport of skiing in the past years.
In Cross-Country, the best-known retirees include Katerina Neumannova (CZE), six-time Olympic medalist including gold in Turin in 2006, and five-time medalist (two-time Champion) at the FIS World Championships; and Frode Estil (NOR), a World and Olympic Champion and many-time medalist, who is going to be putting his know-how to use as coach for young Norwegian talents.
Also retiring are Viola Bauer (GER), bronze medalist in the pursuit in Salt Lake City Olympics and winner of many team medals, Mikhail Botvinov (AUT), another many-time medalist at title events, and Milla Saari (FIN), who made a come-back to the Finnish national team in Sapporo.
Contrary to earlier indications, 34-year-old Olga Savialova (RUS) has decided to continue her career and the Russian team is expected to be further strengthened by the return of Julia Tchepalova from maternity leave.