Three-time gold medalist skier Matthias Mayer from Austria announces his retirement

Matthias Mayer, an Austrian skier who claimed gold in three straight Olympics in 2014, 2018, and 2022, announced his retirement on December 29, 2022.

Matthias Mayer after winning the bronze medal in the downhill event in Beijing 2022 (Image Credits - Instagram/ @matthiasmayer_)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Dec 29, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Matthias Mayer, an Austrian skier who claimed gold in three straight Olympics in 2014, 2018, and 2022, announced his retirement on December 29, 2022, with immediate effect. After returning from the course inspection, Mayer unexpectedly announced in an interview with Austrian TV that he would not be competing in the men’s World Cup super-G. Mayer won the Olympic downhill title in 2014, super-G gold in 2018, and another gold in super-G in 2022, overtaking Austrian legend Toni Sailer as the country’s most successful Olympic skier. His best world championship finish, though, was a fourth-place finish in a super-G at the 2015 tournament in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Mayer won the downhill race at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, becoming the seventh Austrian to win a gold medal in the event’s 18th edition. Christof Innerhofer of Italy and Kjetil Jansrud of Norway joined him on the podium at Rosa Khutor. He immediately followed that with two podium finishes in Norway and a World Cup triumph. In 2018, he won his second Olympic gold medal in the super G. During the Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing, Mayer won the bronze medal in the downhill and successfully defended his super G title. With this, he became Austria’s most decorated Olympic alpine medalist with three Olympic victories and a bronze.

Mayer has competed in 219 World Cup events since his debut in 2009, winning 11 of them, including classic races in Kitzbühel, Wengen, and Bormio. Mayer damaged two vertebrae in a super-G crash in Val Gardena in December 2015, despite wearing a protective airbag under his race outfit. He was out of action for seven months. It was the first time an airbag inflated during a World Cup race, sparking a dispute among skiers about whether Mayer’s safety system caused the terrible accident or stopped him from getting harmed any worse. Mayer is the second reigning Olympic champion to retire this month, following Beat Feuz, the 2022 downhill gold medalist from Switzerland, who announced his retirement the previous week.

Read more: Ski Jumping, Four Hills Tournament 2022–23: Everything You Need To Know

What Matthias Mayer said to Austrian TV

The 32-year old stated, “Last season was fantastic with the third Olympic gold medal, and I have started well in the new season, and I’m satisfied. But it’s enough. I’ve done my last course inspection today and that’s it. I don’t have that fire anymore. The sport is very important for the people and it should go on, but for me it’s OK”. The three-time Olympic champion Mayer was set to start with bib No. 6.