Olympic gold winner, seven times world champion and two time champion of the World Cup in alpine skiing, the 30- year-old skier has decided to end her career due to injuries in her knee cartilage that prevent her from reaching her maximum performance, and because of the simple decision to move forward in her life, as she says herself “I’ve reached a point in my life where both my body and mind are saying ‘no’.” Pärson confirmed on Monday last week on her official website that her career has been fantastic and that she has achieved more than she ever could have dreamed.
Pärson was born in 1981 in the Swedish city of Umeå and was introduced as a child in the world of skiing by her sister, Frida, and was trained by his father, Anders. She belonged from the beginning of her career to the ski club Fjällvinden of Tärnaby, in which had also competed the swedish alpine ski legends Ingemar Stenmark and Stig Strand. Already as a youngster she was a junior champion, winning her first global race at the age of 17 years and her first gold at 21. In the early twenty-first century she dominated the women’s alpine ski tracks along with the Croatian Janica Kostelic. After her success at the Olympics in Salt Lake City and Turin, she suffered a bump in her career between the years 2007-2008, but would soon would leave the bad times behind with new victories.It is true that the Swedish skier has achieved everything in her career; in addition to the Olympic gold and runners-up medals, she has won World Championships in all five alpine disciplines with a total of 42 race wins. Throughout the history of Alpine skiing, Pärson is the fifth female skier who more races has won and the first skier to win the world championship in the five Alpine Ski disciplines.
Her World Championships include 18 wins in slalom, 11 in giant slalom, 6 in downhill, 4 in Super-G and 3 in super-combined.
Pärson’s Olympic medals date back to the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 (silver and bronze), the Turin Olympics in 2006 (gold medal and two bronze medals) and the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 ( bronze medal), where the skier suffered a serious accident that almost ended her career.Pärson announces now that leaving her career has been the hardest decision of her life, but at the same time she is curious and excited about the future. The athlete who lives in Monaco says she is ready for new challenges in her life and that she remembers as the highlight of her career the Vancouver bronze despite the tragic fall she suffered. That accident, according to her own words, would make her overcome in terms of mental ability; “That hill was just not going to beat me.”
The skier decided to end her career before the end of this year’s ski season in order to get in touch with colleagues, supporters and media in the remaining tournaments, in which she obviously no longer participates as a skier. Pärson has also thanked publicly her family, fans, sponsors and the Swedish Ski Association, announcing that, in spite of her retirement, she will continue to work in the world of skiing and sports in general, so that athletes can practice their sport in the best and optimal conditions and that their voice can be heard.