Winter Olympic skeleton bronze medallist Dom Parsons retires

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Britain's bronze medallist Dom Parsons poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's skeleton at the Pyeongchang Medals Plaza during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Dom was one of Great Britain's five medallists in 2018, their highest medal tally in Winter Olympics history

Dom Parsons, who was Britain's first male medallist in skeleton for 70 years at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, has retired.

Parsons, 32, was Team GB's first medallist in South Korea, and was later joined on the podium by Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas in a sensational Games for the British skeleton team.

"I'm happy with having overcome the obstacles to achieve the highs of my career and, with that, the desire to keep striving for perfection has faded," said Parsons.

Parsons took a year away from sliding following his Olympic success to complete his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Bath but he returned to the team this winter and competed in the first two World Cup races of the season earlier this month.

The former 400m runner, who made his international debut in 2008 and went on to compete at two Olympic Games and four World Championships, had initially intended to continue to Beijing 2022.

Dom Parsons of Great Britain slides during the Men's Skeleton heats on day six of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 15, 2018
In the 2018 Winter Olympics, after a dramatic final run, Parsons finished 0.11 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Martins Dukurs

As well as winning bronze in Pyeongchang, Parsons placed 10th at his first Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 and won World Cup bronze in Calgary in 2013.

He finished fifth in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 overall World Cup standings and was seventh at the 2015 World Championships in Winterberg.

"Dom has enjoyed a superb sliding career and he will long be remembered for his historic Olympic success," said Natalie Dunman, performance director for the British skeleton team.

"Dom has been a key part of the team for a long time and we are naturally disappointed to see him retire as we had previously discussed his hopes of matching his medal feat at the next Olympics in Beijing in two years' time. We understand Dom's decision, though, and we fully respect his desire to move on now.

"Dom has just completed his PhD and not long got married so he has exciting times ahead of him away from the ice. We wish him all the best for what lies ahead and we thank him for what will be a lasting contribution to our sport."

Parsons' place on the World Cup team for the races in Winterberg and La Plagne will be taken by fellow 2018 Olympian Jerry Rice.

Rice, who finished 10th alongside Parsons in Pyeongchang, will rejoin Marcus Wyatt and Craig Thompson on the sport's top circuit.

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