TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s Kaya Turski, who would have been a gold medal contender in the slopestyle at next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, announced her retirement on Tuesday due to health issues.
The 2013 slopestyle world champion, and eight times X Games gold medalist, was considered one of the sport’s pioneers and trailblazers although she never made an Olympic podium.
Turski was a hot gold medal favorite at the 2014 Sochi Games but, coming back from knee surgery, dislocated her shoulder in her first qualifying run and failed to complete the second.
The 29-year-old Canadian was dogged by injuries throughout her career including several concussions that have left her battling chronic headaches.
”I’ll never forget the rush in the start gate, ready to give it my all,” said Turski, in a statement from Freestyle Canada.
”I’ll certainly miss the freedom the sport allowed me, and my ski family, with whom I forged such strong bonds in pursuit of our common goals. But I’ve lived my dream, and learned invaluable lessons throughout it. What else could I ask for?
”The beauty is now I get to sculpt and pursue a whole new one”.
Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Ken Ferris