Olympic champion speed skater Takagi calls it quits

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nana Takagi smiles during a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Three-time Olympic Speed skating medalist Nana Takagi announced her retirement in Tokyo on Tuesday

“I cannot say that I have no regrets, but after struggling, and with consideration, I have decided to end to my [skating] career,” Takagi, 29, said at a press conference.

Born in Makubetsu, Hokkaido, the diminutive 155-centimeter Takagi, along with younger sister Miho, won gold in the women’s team pursuit at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. She captured another Olympic title in the mass start, a newly introduced speed skating event.

She was also the first Japanese athlete to win multiple gold medals in one competition in either the Summer or Winter Olympics.

Takagi, who has appeared at three Olympics, also earned the silver medal in the pursuit at the Beijing Games in February. However, she burst into tears after her fall on the last corner cost Japan a shot at the gold in the final of the event.

She also took a tumble in the semifinals of the mass start speed skating event at the Beijing Olympics.

Takagi mentioned retirement after the final World Cup event in March.