The Croatian slalom specialist Ana Jelusic has announced her retirement in Zagreb (CRO). After having taken the 2011/12 season off to offer her body a chance to recover from severe asthma that increasingly affected her career in the 2010/11 season, Jelusic today announced that she will be moving on but not turning her back to sports.
"I did intend this season just to be a year-long break from skiing, but once I saw that I was only sick for two weeks, as opposed to six months on inhalers, it was clear. I did not want to come back at 80% but only to return to where I once was, at the very top. And I did not want to have any more days when I could not breathe," she said.
Jelusic has remained involved with ski racing this season too, including serving as the Young Ambassador for Croatia at the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January and covering a number of World Cup weekends for FISAlpine.com.
The 25-year-old Rijeka native first competed on the FIS World Cup tour in Sölden in October 2002 as a 15-year-old. She scored her first podium at her home race on Zagreb's Sljeme, the Snow Queen Trophy, taking 2nd in 2007. She also finished 3rd in Panorama (CAN) in November 2007. Altogether she collected 17 top 10 slalom results in the FIS World Cup. In the FIS World Ski Championships, she recorded a 4th place finish in Are 2007, 7th place in Val d'Isere 2009 and 9th place in Bormio 2005. She participated in three editions of the Olympic Winter Games, in 2002 in Salt Lake City where is was the youngest Olympic athlete, and in 2006 in Turin where she finished 15th and in 2010 in Vancouver where she placed 12th.
Since the season finals in Schladming, Ana Jelusic has taken on a special traineeship position with the sports department of the International Olympic Committee, created for young Olympic athletes in transition to their post-sports careers. She follows the French biathlete Vincent Defrasne and the Swiss judoka Sergei Aschwanden in this role.
FIS is pleased to announce that from the start of the 2012/13 season, Ana Jelusic will be back with FIS and will be serving as FIS Media Coordinator for Alpine Skiing, focused on the men's tour.