Veith’s announcement in a prime-time TV show resembled the way Marcel Hirscher said farewell to ski racing almost nine months ago.
Veith was the last active overall World Cup champion from Austria since Hirscher’s retirement. The record eight-time men’s overall champion grew up in the same region as Veith in the Salzburg province, and the two spent time at school together.
Veith won 15 World Cup races from 2011 to 2017, and collected eight medals from major events, including four golds.
Her most recent medal was silver in super-G at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, where she was famously beaten to the title by Ester Ledecka, the Czech athlete who later also won gold in snowboarding.
“It was the most emotional day of my career,” Veith said. “It was important during my recovery from injury that I could dream of something. That gave me motivation for training. In Korea I felt I achieved that dream.”
She competed under her maiden name, Fenninger, until she married former snowboarder Manuel Veith four years ago and was at the peak of her career in 2015.
After winning the Olympic super-G in 2014 (“I had dreamed of that since I was five years old”), Veith claimed the sport’s biggest prize, the overall World Cup, for a second straight year and left the world championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, with two golds and a silver.
In the offseason, Veith fought out a bitter dispute with the Austrian ski federation about her then manager, and about her wish to have one of the team physicians working exclusively for her.
Austrian broadcaster ORF showed tributes from several competitors, including former overall champions Maria Hoefl-Riesch (“Congratulations, you have achieved everything”), Tina Maze (“We had the best competition in the World Cup”) and Lara Gut (“Austria can be proud of you, as an athlete and as a human being”).
Hirscher also praised Veith in a video message.
“I have closely followed your career from the very start,” Hirscher said. “You were a role model.”
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