Four-time Olympic gold medalist Janica Kostelic has retired from Alpine skiing, saying life off the slopes is more attractive than winning medals.
The 25 year old Croat, who took the last World Cup season off due to chronic back and knee injuries, wants to spend more time with her boyfriend and at the beauty salon she has just opened.
"The time has come to end my professional sporting career," Kostelic said.
"I'm just a normal girl who doesn't like to read about herself in the headlines."
Although Kostelic had said she was unlikely to return to professional skiing, many fans hoped she would change her mind.
Kostelic, who has had 10 knee operations and also had surgery to fix her
thyroid, won her third overall World Cup title two years ago.
"Maybe bugs pop into my head one day and disrupt my peace until I return," Kostelic said.
"But I doubt it."
Kostelic became the most successful female skier in Olympic history when she won gold and silver at the 2004 Turin Games, adding to her three golds and one silver from Salt Lake City in 2002.
A five-time world champion, Kostelic has won 30 World Cup races and posted victories in all five disciplines in the 2005-06 season.
"You never know, she can always come back in two years," said her
father, Ante Kostelic.
"She wouldn't be the first."