Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Alessandro Trovati | The Associated Press) Sweden's Anja Paerson competes during the Nations Team event at the Alpine World Skiing Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011.
Star Swedish skier Anja Paerson to retire

First Published Mar 12 2012 11:06 am • Last Updated Mar 12 2012 11:39 am

Anja Paerson, an Olympic gold medalist in 2006 and seven-time world champion skier, plans to retire after this week’s World Cup finals because of a string of injuries.

The 30-year-old Swede said in a statement on her country’s ski federation website Monday that she has been slowed by the injuries, especially to her left knee.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"My career has been fantastic and I’ve achieved more than I could ever dream of," Paerson said. "The last years, with all the spectacular crashes and protracted injury problems, have reduced my chances to perform at the top level."

Austrian skier Mario Scheiber also said Monday he is retiring, citing injuries.

The 29-year-old Scheiber said he’s "not willing to take the risks involved in ski racing anymore" after trying to make a comeback this season after breaking his nose and shoulder blade last year in a downhill training crash in Chamonix, France.

Scheiber sat out the 2005-06 season after tearing ligaments in his right knee and was sidelined for months with a left shoulder injury two years later.

Scheiber, who won the giant slalom title at the 2003 junior world championships, finished on a World Cup podium 13 times but failed to win a race. He finished fourth in the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Paerson won 19 medals at major championships — six at the Olympics and 13 at the worlds. She has won 42 World Cup races since her debut in 1998 and clinched overall titles in 2004 and 2005. She was the first skier to win world championship gold medals in all five disciplines.

After winning a bronze medal in the slalom at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, she returned four years later to capture gold in the same event in Turin. At three Olympics, she won four bronzes and a silver to go with her gold.

The races in Schladming, Austria, this week will be her last.

story continues below
story continues below

"I have always been a fighter and this is a tough decision," she said. "But after some time of thoughts and many discussions with myself I feel I’m ready for new challenges in my life."

Paerson won three gold medals at the 2007 world championships in Are, Sweden, and a bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She opened the Vancouver Games with a horrendous crash in the downhill — sliding across the finish line headfirst — then came back 24 hours later to win bronze in super-combined.

"I just couldn’t let the hill in Whistler defeat me," Paerson said. "In addition I’ll always remember the great duels between me and Janica Kostelic, and other fantastic skiers."

Lindsey Vonn, who clinched the World Cup overall title last week, said Paerson remained one of the best skiers throughout her career.

"She’s won in every discipline, has world championship medals, Olympic medals and a couple of overall titles," Vonn said. "But beyond what she’s done as an athlete, she’s been driving the women’s World Cup forward as a significant member of the athletes council. I’ll miss her on the tour, but know she’ll stay close to the sport."

Paerson said she would serve on the athletes’ commission of the international ski federation for another year. The Swedish Ski Association said Paerson’s "achievements will always be in the hearts of the Swedish people."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.