Olympic downhill champion Svindal to retire

Aksel Lund Svindal says a knee injury which has troubled him in recent years prompted his decision to quit next month.

Olympic downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal will retire after the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Are next month.

The 36-year-old Norwegian has been troubled by a right knee injury in recent years and on Sunday announced that he will quit after competing in Sweden.

Svindal has won five world titles, two Olympic gold medals and a pair of overall World Cup crowns in a phenomenal career.

The veteran also has nine World Cup discipline titles to his name, with five of those being Super-G triumphs.

“I will focus on the races in Are, they are my last races on top level,” Svindal said.

“The decision has come over the last few weeks. Now I can give it all one more time, and then it’s over.”

He added: “It feels a bit surreal to say it’s over. But mentally it’s the right way to say you quit, better than just wait and see if you can race or not.”

Svindal pulled out of the Kitzbuhel downhill on Friday after feeling pain in his knee during a training run and has just one World Cup victory to his name this season.