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Käslin Shocks with Pre-Olympic Retirement
(8 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)



Thirteen months before the Olympics, world and European medalist Ariella Käslin stunned the Swiss media and gymnastics fans by announcing her retirement from competition.

Thirteen months before the Olympics, world and European medalist Ariella Käslin stunned the Swiss media and gymnastics fans by announcing her retirement from competition.

Käslin, the three-time Swiss Sportswoman of the Year, held a press conference Monday in Lucerne to announce that she was moving on from the sport.

The 23-year-old Käslin said she feels she can no longer compete at the international level.

"I would not have been able to continue with professional sports," she said. "I've listened to my body and my heart and thus made this decision. The decision came from the gut, as is typical with me."

Käslin is the most decorated Swiss female gymnast in history. Fifth on vault at the 2008 Olympics, she won the gold medal on vault and all-around bronze at the 2009 Europeans in Milan. At the 2009 Worlds in London, she won the silver medal on vault.

Käslin had been struggling in the past year to regain her 2009 form. She was sidelined with illness in the summer of 2010, but recovered enough to finish fourth on vault at October's world championships in Rotterdam. In April she won the bronze on vault at the European championships in Berlin.

Käslin's retirement greatly hurts the Swiss women's chances at October's world championships, the first qualification to the 2012 Olympics in London. The top eight teams earn automatic berths to London, while teams placing ninth through 16th will fight for the remaining four spots at the second qualification in January. The Swiss women were 16th at the 2010 Worlds.

The gymnast's retirement made headlines across Switzerland, which is now losing one of its best hopes for a medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. Searching for answers, one Swiss journalist pressed Käslin to ask if she was pregnant.

"Wow, for heaven's sake!" she said. "No, no, that can wait. I'm only 23 years old."

Käslin said is looking forward to relaxing, though she said she may finish her university degree.

"That's a possibility," she said. "I'm missing only a few exams before I can graduate. Everything is open. I now have the necessary time. Under no circumstances do I want to stress myself now. I'm looking forward to the future. I feel a lot of energy inside me to approach something new."

Comments (2)add comment

JulieGymnastik said:

0
...
Oh non ! Quelle mauvaise nouvelle pour la gymnastique mondiale !smilies/shocked.gif
 
July 12, 2011
Votes: +1

RachelT said:

0
Give her a break!
My gosh, she just decided she is done and wants to move on to another chapter in her life. It is that simple. She shouldn't have to carry the weight of the olympic medal chances for the Swiss people. Bravo to her for not yielding to the pressures to compete at the Olympics...especially if se doesn't want to do it any more. She has already accomplished so much and should be very proud of herself.
 
July 12, 2011
Votes: +9

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