Italian Olympic legend announces retirement

Italian luge legend Armin Zoeggeler, a double Olympic and six-time world champion, announced his retirement from the sport on Tuesday.

Italian Olympic legend announces retirement
Armin Zoeggeler, a double Olympic and six-time world champion, has nnounced his retirement from the sport. Photo: Antonin Thuiller/AFP

Speaking at a small press gathering in Milan which also attracted media from neighbouring European countries, the 40-year-old said: "It's time to bring my career as a sportsman to an end."

Zoeggeler, a Carabiniere (policeman) by profession, is one of Italy's most successful winter sport athletes.

His Olympic medals haul includes two gold, from the 2002 and 2006 Games, a silver and three bronze.

Zoeggeler's last bronze medal came this year. Having carried the Italian flag at the opening ceremony in Sochi, he went on to become the first person in history to win six medals in the same individual competition in six consecutive Olympics.

Zoeggeler was born in the south Tirol region of northern Italy and competed in luge from an early age, going on to win the junior World Cup at the age of 14.

Added to Zoeggeler's Olympic achievements are 16 medals, including six gold, from the world championships, 10 World Cup titles and 57 victories in the competition.

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IN PHOTOS: Snowfall turns central Milan white

Wintry weather has arrived in many parts of northern Italy on Monday, with snow in Milan, Turin, Genoa and other areas.

IN PHOTOS: Snowfall turns central Milan white
Snow in central Milan on Monday morning. All photos: Migual Medina/AFP
While the Alps are already blanketed, areas at lower altitude got a covering of snow on Monday as the weather turned colder.
All photos: Migual Medina/AFP
Residents of central Milan woke up to find the city had turned white, after the first flakes fell overnight. Around 20 centimetres (8 inches) of snow fell in the city on Monday.
The cold weather didn't stop people from getting out into the fresh air, perhaps for the first time in days, with some loosening of coronavirus restrictions on Monday.
Falling trees disrupted traffic, with local authorities deploying dozens of snowploughs to clear main thoroughfares.
The storms caused tailbacks on several motorways, notably the A26 bound for Italy's largest commercial port of Genoa, capital of the Liguria region.
Main roads around Milan had been cleared on Monday morning, local media reports, but many others are still covered with snow.
Bad weather has caused disruption to train servces in Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Veneto and other parts of the north.
The Great St Bernard Tunnel on the border with Switzerland was closed to heavy goods vehicles
With a typically humid climate, Milan rarely sees snow on a large scale but January 1985 notably saw 90 centimetres, with smaller falls in 2006 and 2009.
Rome was hit by heavy rain as well as strong winds and storms. The wintry weather was expected to move further south overnight

Unfortunately for snow tourists, Italy's ski resorts remain closed until at least January under the country's strict coronavirus rules.
All photos: Migual Medina/AFP
Winter weather words in Italian

la neve – snow

la nevicata – snowfall

i fiocchi – flakes

innevato – snow-covered

imbiancato – turned white

il gelo – ice

l'inverno – winter