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Callum Skinner, 2016 Olympic champion, retires from track cycling

Callum Skinner with gold and silver medals at 2016 Olympics victory parade in UK
Image: Callum Skinner with the gold and silver medals he won at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Callum Skinner, one of Great Britain's 2016 Olympic champions, has announced his retirement from professional track cycling at the age of 26.

Skinner was part of the team sprint squad which won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and also won silver in the individual sprint behind Jason Kenny at the same Games.

He has recently taken some time out from the sport due to health issues and although Skinner says he is "almost fully recovered", he has decided to retire.

"Today, I would like to announce I am calling time on my Elite Cycling career," Skinner wrote on his blog on Thursday.

"It's been a long and amazing journey, starting out in the cold of Meadowbank, Edinburgh in 2006 to peaking at the Olympic Velodrome in the Team Sprint at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

"I appreciate that 26 might seem to many quite young to be transitioning away from the track, but I have never considered myself just an athlete; I consider myself far more than that.

"Cycling is my first love and it was the ideal place with the perfect opportunities to focus my drive to achieve great things.

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"My last competition and podium place was at the Commonwealth Games in The Gold Coast in 2018; it was great to finish on a high.

"Since that time, I have been on an extended break due to my health deteriorating. This has proved to be a very challenging time.

Olympic gold medalists Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner of Great Britain celebrate on the podium after winning the men's team sprint in Rio
Image: Callum Skinner (right) was part of the Great Britain team that won the men's team sprint gold in Rio de Janeiro

"Through seeking help outside the programme, and by the unswerving support of my friends, family and agent, I have made incredible progress and I'm pleased to say have almost fully recovered.

"My focus and effort now lies in working in partnership with British Cycling to continue to make the athlete experience more human whilst still maintaining that performance mindset.

"Overall, I have had an amazing time at British Cycling and would like to thank my current and former; coaches, performance support staff and team-mates for an amazing and unforgettable ten years. I wish them every success going forward."

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