Polish speed skater Brodka confirms retirement after Beijing 2022

Polish speed skater Zbigniew Brodka confirmed on Sunday his retirement after the Beijing Winter Olympics, as he "achieved as much as he could on the ice track."

In 2014, Brodka won gold in the men's 1,500m and bronze in the team pursuit at the Sochi Winter Olympics. In October 2019, the 37-year-old decided to suspend his career, instead taking up work as a fireman. After two years, Brodka returned to the track to book a ticket to Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Pole emphasized that Beijing was a perfect place for him to say goodbye, as he started his professional career in a competition in China.

"I didn't take a medal at my last Winter Olympics but I feel I achieved as much as I could in my career. I was very touched when I thought that it was the end. I confirm that I will retire and that in Beijing I made my last performance. Qualifying for the Winter Games was a really great feat," Brodka said in an interview for local media.

The Beijing Winter Games didn't go according to Brodka's plan, as a muscle injury ruled him out of the 1,500m race, his favorite distance. In the mass race he didn't advance into the final round.

"I'm glad that we managed to take the start at all. Until the end, I didn't believe in my healing, because I felt this injury and it was hard to accept that I would not start the 1,500m," the speed skater added.

"History has come full circle, because China is a country where I started my journey. I'm very happy. Unfortunately my body is already heavily exhausted. It was balancing on the edge, so we tried to train at the limit, but not exceed it. I have already reached the point when the red light turned on," the two-time Olympic medalist said.