We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Chemmy Alcott announces retirement after British Alpine Championships

31-year-old has represented Great Britain in four Winter Olympics with her latest appearance coming at at the Sochi Games last month

Britain's four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott has announced that she intends to retire from racing following the British Alpine Championships in April.

The 31-year-old competed in the games at Salt Lake City, Turn and Vancouver before taking 19th place in the women's downhill event in Sochi last month, having recovered from a broken leg suffered in 2013.

Alcott has also finished in the top 10 of a World Cup on five occasions and admitted it was a tough decision to end her race career.

"It is with a really heavy but happy and proud heart that I relinquish my role of a ski racer," she said in a video posted on her official website.

"When you talk to past athletes and ask them how they knew it was time to leave their sport, most of them say that if you are honest with yourself you just know.

"Now is my time. I feel it both physically and mentally. I think that fate has stepped in a little bit too - after breaking my leg in August I knew it all had to be about the Olympics.

"I was no longer in a position to race in enough World Cups for it to be about improving my world ranking, so I literally put all my eggs in one basket.

"I even knew that was going to be tight. The pressure was on to make that team and to be healthy and be confident enough to push myself to limits where I needed to."

Despite her plans to end her racing days, Alcott refused to use the word 'retire' as she intends to continue skiing and playing a part in the career of up-and-coming talent.

"I'm not going to retire," she added.

"By definition, 'retire' means to withdraw from one's profession and I'm a skier and will always be a skier.

"I am not retiring from skiing and believe that I still have much to offer the sport. It is my intention to take some time off over the summer, enjoy my forthcoming wedding and return next season to use my wealth of experience to help other athletes."