He confirmed this himself and in a press release from the Biathlon Federation.
– I’m giving up as a biathlete now, Eckhoff started a post on Instagram.
– Last March I won two races at Holmenkollen. At that time I did not know that this would be my last victory as a biathlete – the plan was to continue.
As such, he follows teammate Marte Olsbu Røiseland, who also opted to put skis and stock on the shelves this week.
Among other things, Eckhoff has three individual WC gold medals and several Olympic medals.
– Biathlon has been my life for almost as long as I can remember, and it’s strange to imagine life without it. Over the past year I’ve been on the sidelines a bit, so it basically felt like a natural transition to the step I’m taking now, and the decision to call it quits. Weird and a little sad, but also quite delicious, said Eckhoff in the press release.
Eckhoff has rested this season, and has not competed since triumph in the sprint and pursuit started in the World Cup final at Holmenkollen last March.
Earlier this winter, he spoke in a longer interview with NRK about the challenging time and that he was considering quitting:
– This is very sad
NRK biathlon expert Ola Lunde is saddened that another biathlon great has chosen to retire.
– It is one of the largest in the world under construction, and one of four very large in Norway with Liv Grete Skjelbreid, Tora Berger, Marte Olsbu Røiseland and now Tiril. There are players who are truly extreme, says Lunde.
It’s only been a few days since Røiseland decided to close. Lunde was not particularly surprised that Eckhoff was now doing the same.
– Yes and no. There’s been speculation about that, but they may come to the conclusion that there’s no point investing further, Lunde said.
– When I think back on the sprint at Holmenkollen, the last series it stood there, it almost gives me chills. It was one of the most spectacular races. Then she became the queen of WC in Pokljuka. It was unimaginably embarrassing, but at the same time I understood.
Former team-mate and now NRK expert Synnøve Solemdal had known about Eckhoff’s decision for some time.
– It’s very sad for biathlon, but I am very happy on his behalf that he will start life anew, said Solemdal.
Solemdal became close friends with Eckhoff after they got together and has many fond memories with the now retired biathlete. But one thing stands out:
– Definitely WC in Oslo. First off, the individual WC gold is fantastic. He put in a perfect race on a day where the pressure was highest, and really put on a show. And after that, take the gold together in the relay. This is a strong memory for me. One thing is the relay, but another is the way we work as a team before the relay. It’s great to experience together, says Solemdal.
All time winner
Eckhoff made his World Cup debut in 2010, eventually ending with 29 World Cup wins. Her last race was in Holmenkollen in March 2022. She then won two wins and passed Tora Berger as the all-time winner of the Norwegian woman at the Biathlon World Cup, while receiving the Holmenkollen medal from King Harald.
At his last Olympics, Beijing 2022, there were three medals. Gold in the mixed relay, silver in the co-start and bronze in the hot pursuit. In total, she has won eight Olympic medals during her career.
In WC, he has many gold medals. He took his first two at home at Holmenkollen in 2016. Then he first won individual gold in the sprint, before he was able to celebrate with his teammates after winning the relay as well.
In her last WC, Pokljuka in 2021, she became WC queen with four gold medals. In total, he has collected ten gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the world championships.
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