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Six-Time Olympic Champion in Short Track Speed Skating Viktor Ahn Ends Career in Sports

An, 34, who has previously announced retirement in 2018, returned to the sport before the 2019/2020 season. He joined the Russian national team for the stages of the World Cup and won several medals.

"Due to ongoing pain in the knee, it takes a lot of time to recover, treat and rehabilitate after the competitions, so it’s very difficult to train to the utmost. In addition to the constant pain in the knee, there were other injuries, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep fit, so I decided it was time to leave the big sport. I came to the conclusion that it is impossible to pursue a sports career on motivation alone. I think that this is the right time, so I decided to retire," An said in an open letter to fans.

He also thanked everyone who had helped him throughout his career.

Born Ahn Hyun-soo, An is widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest athletes on the skating track. In 2006, he won three Olympic golds and one bronze for South Korea.

After failing to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics and feeling lack of support from his native country's skating authorities, he moved to Russia and joined its national team. As Victor An, he won another three Olympic golds and one bronze for Russia in 2014.

The choice of his Russian name Victor was partially the symbol of his aspirations to sports victories and partially a tribute to singer-songwriter Viktor Tsoi, a huge star in Russia and the most famous Russian of ethnic Korean descent.

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