Germany’s Verena Bentele, a visually impaired 16-time Paralympic Winter Games medallist, announced her retirement on Monday (7 November).
The Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon star recently finished university and will now leave the Paralympic Sport scene to pursue a career.
Bentele, 29, took home five medals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, just a year after seriously injuring her knee, fingers, liver and kidney at the German Championships.
In Vancouver, she stood atop the podium three times in Cross-Country Skiing (15km Freestyle, 5km Classic Style, Sprint Classic Style) and twice in Biathlon (3km Pursuit, 12.5km Pursuit).
She has won more medals in Biathlon at the Paralympic Games than any other female athlete, and only Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway has won more medals than her in Cross-Country Skiing.
Bentele won the 2011 Laureus World Sportsperson of the year with a Disability Award has been named one of the five finalists for the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Best Female Athlete this year. That award winner will be announced during a special ceremony held in conjunction with the 2011 IPC General Assembly in Beijing, China, in December.