Legendary Norwegian biathlete Marte Olsbu Roeiseland has confirmed that she will step away from biathlon at the end of the season, saying that now is the “right time” to retire.
In 2022 at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Roeiseland, 32, created history by winning five Olympic medals (three golds and two bronzes), becoming the first woman to ever achieve the feat and matching the tally for the most medals won in a single Winter Olympic Games ever.
She also created another piece of history in the 2020 world championships when she became the first athlete to ever win medals across all seven events.
However, there has been speculation over her future for some months now, with some reports in Norway suggesting she might have stepped away last year, but she was never going to stay around for the 2026 Olympics.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning, she said: “It’s the right time. I just feel it, it’s a feeling I had the whole year, actually.
Last year was an incredible season but I’m so glad I took another year, this year, it’s been tough but it’s been so worth it.
“I’m just so happy with everything I have done – now it’s time. I feel it and I feel the life is so much more than biathlon.
“Of course, biathlon will always been in my heart but I’m so much looking forward to the future!”
‘The best in the world’ – Roeiseland storms to fourth medal with gold in 10km pursuit
Roeiseland retires with a total of seven Olympic medals, 17 World Championships medals and three crystal globes from the 2021-22 season (the overall globe as well as sprint and pursuit).
Her achievements are all the more remarkable considering that she did not win her first race until the age of 28. Her five-year span of dominance is one of the best that the women’s tour has ever seen.
The retirement comes at a time when there is intense speculation over the future of Roeiseland’s compatriot Tiril Eckhoff.
Eckhoff, also 32, hasn’t competed since the end of last season when she stepped away after complications following Covid-19.
Eckhoff said before the world championships that she isn’t sure whether or not she will return to biathlon but there has been no official confirmation either way yet.
Stream the 2022-23 Biathlon season live on Eurosport and discovery+