Knute Johnsgaard, seen here during a 2014 race in Whitehorse, announced his retirement from competitive skiing on April 20. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)

Yukon Olympian Johnsgaard says farewell to competitive cross-country skiing

‘I hope to stay involved in skiing, perhaps as a volunteer coach at the grassroots level’

Olympian Knute Johnsgaard announced his retirement from competitive cross-country skiing on April 20 at age 25.

In a blog post, Johnsgaard said that while he could continue his career, he felt this was a good time to retire having just raced in his first Olympics.

“I feel I am at a good stage to withdraw from competitive sport having accomplished these major goals at the age of only 25. I have no regrets and am incredibly thankful to have been blessed with the life skiing has given me so far,” wrote Johnsgaard.

Johnsgaard was part of the Canadian 4×7.5-km relay team that won bronze at a 2017 World Cup event in Ulricehamn, Sweden — Canada’s first ever relay medal.

At the PyeongChang Olympics this winter, Johnsgaard finished 69th in the 15-km free race and was part of the 4×10-km relay team that finished ninth.

He also competed at the 2017 World Ski Championships held in Lahti, Finland.

His World Cup debut was in December 2012 when he finished 56th in the skiathlon in Canmore.

After enjoying success in the Nor-Am Cup and at US Super tour events, Johnsgaard returned to the World Cup circuit in 2016.

Johnsgaard’s blog post said he intends to stay involved in the sport, mentioning coaching specifically.

“I hope to stay involved in skiing, perhaps as a volunteer coach at the grassroots level. The local races will suddenly become much more competitive, and if the National Championships return to Whitehorse, you can be sure that I’ll be strapping on the ol’ race boards.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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