Canadian speedskating gold medallist Samuel Girard retires

Samuel Girard, of Canada, has announced his retirement from speedskating. (Julie Jacobson/CP/AP)

SAGUENAY, Que. — Olympic short-track speedskating champion Samuel Girard has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 22-year-old from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., won a gold medal in the men’s 1,000 metres and helped Canada to a bronze in the 5,000-metre relay at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished," Girard said Friday in a statement from Speed Skating Canada.

"This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step."

Girard is one of four Canadians to win Olympic gold in short track following Annie Perreault (1998), Marc Gagnon (2002) and Charles Hamelin (2010, 2014).

He placed fourth in the both the 500 metres and 1,500 metres in Pyeongchang and was also fourth overall at this year’s world championship.

His girlfriend of six years, speedskater Kasandra Bradette, also announced her retirement after eight years on the national team. She finished eighth in the 3,000 metres in Pyeongchang.

"With the retirement of Kasandra and Samuel, two of the leading speed skaters in Quebec and Canada are taking their bow," said Robert Dubreuil, executive director of the Quebec Speed Skating Federation.

"They have both marked our sport, each in their own way. Kasandra has shown extraordinary determination in her Olympic pursuit and Samuel, for his part, will be remembered for his immense talent and work ethic that led him to the top step of the Olympic podium."

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