Martin Fourcade announces surprise retirement from biathlon

Five-time Olympic champion and France's most decorated Winter Olympian 

French Biathlon great Martin Fourcade has announced his retirement at the age of 31.

The five-time Olympic champion posted on social media that Saturday's race at the World Cup in Finland will be the last of his stellar career. And he ended his career in style taking the 12.5km pursuit to celebrate his 83rd individual win in a World Cup race.

France' most decorated Winter Olympian is also a thirteen-time World Champion and has won the overall World Cup title a record seven straight times from 2012-2018..

"Thanks for the journey. Time to say goodbye," he stated on his Twitter account.

The medals

This season, Fourcade has been battling Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe for the overall title with the final 12.5k pursuit being the decider between the rivals.

The French superstar has come back from a disappointing 2019 season that included zero medals at the World Championships and only a 12th-place finish in the overall standings.

But he responded in style taking two more gold medals at the 2020 World Championships in Antholz.

Fourcade has always said that he wanted to end his career on a high note.

Mission accomplished.

The Frenchman clinched seven Olympic and 28 World Championship medals in total.

Only Norway's Ole Einar Bjorndalen has managed to win more Olympic (8) and World Championship titles (20).

Emotional goodbye

"There are life-changing decisions," Fourcade wrote on Facebook before thanking his family, friends, support team and even bis rivals.

"My passion for my sport is intact. My love for sport in general, and the values of transcendence and respect for others is greater than ever.

When I say good bye to you, I am so moved but soothed. I remember these places, these emotions that have marked my career. These doubts and trials that I overcame, these dreams come true. I leave a part of my life behind me animated by all that remains to be built."

Hear you can read his statement in full.

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