Double Olympic gold medalist Björn Lind of Sweden has announced his retirement from professional cross-country ski racing. The man who perhaps is best remembered for his dynamic double pole finish in the team sprint at the 2006 Olympic, where he became fully airborne with each stroke – a technique he referred to as “yumping” – leaves the sport after 10 years on the World Cup circuit.
Lind won the individual skate sprint at the 2006 Olympics and paired with Thobias Fredriksson to best Norway in the team event. Lind also finished fourth in the first Olympic sprint in 2002, and along with Tor Arne Hetland (NOR) is one of the pioneers of the “sprint-specialist” role.
Lind’s career petered out over the last year. He did qualify for the Swedish team for the 2010 Olympics but was unable to advance out of the quarterfinals in the individual classic sprint, and was not picked for the team sprint. He has not raced a World Cup event since, spending the 2011 racing a combination of FIS races and Marathon Cup events, as well as the Tour de Ski China.
The 33-year-old seems to have developed an affinity for eastern ski racing. In addition to competing in the Chinese version of the Tour de Ski, an event in which he finished tenth, Lind has traveled to China five other times, including twice for World Cups.
Overall Lind made 69 individual World Cup starts, finishing on the podium eight times, and winning three races. His best season by far was 2006. In addition to the two Olympic gold medals, he won the Sprint Cup and placed fourth in the overall World Cup, even managing to score a grand total of six distance points – the only ones of his sprint-focused career.
“I’m happy with what I have achieved in my sporting career and now I feel I’m done with competitive sports,” said Lind in a statement.
According to Swedish paper Expressen, Lind will now begin a civilian career with the staffing company Proffice.
The Proffice web site describes the company as “a leading Nordic provider of HR solutions, with over 100 offices and 10,000 employees. Our specialists offer effective service solutions for temporary staffing, permanent placements, consulting and outplacement.”
Lind raced last season for Team Exspirit, a marathon team.
“Björn has been a great team member a part of team Exspirit’s successful premier season. His person, knowledge and experiences have been of most importance! Now we can only wish him good luck in his life after skiing!” Team Exspirit director David Nilsson in a press release.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.