Former Olympic sprint champion Hetland retires

Photo: www.storlirennet.no.

OSLO (AP) — Norwegian cross-country skier Tor Arne Hetland, a former world and Olympic sprint champion, announced his retirement Friday April 24.

The 35-year-old Hetland said he made the decision because of a lingering knee injury and asthma.

“I feel like I am quitting while I am at the top,” he said. “I don’t want to sit and just polish a gold medal for 40 years afterward.”

Hetland became the first Olympic gold medalist in a sprint class, winning the inaugural 1.5K race at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

He added another gold in the first team sprint at the 2005 worlds in Oberstdorf, Germany. He earned silver in the same discipline at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

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