London 2012 gold medallist Etienne Stott has announced his retirement from canoe slalom.
Stott, who received an MBE after winning a first ever Team GB canoe slalom gold medal in the men’s C2 alongside Tim Baillie, did not compete at Rio 2016 after David Florence and Richard Hounslow – who finished second in London – took Team GB’s place.
In a distinguished career Stott won three world championship bronze medals, as well as European gold – alongside Baillie – in 2012.
Stott suffered a serious shoulder dislocation during an event in Spain, in 2013, and with Baillie retiring later that year Stott partnered with Mark Proctor upon his return from injury.
The duo worked towards qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but Florence and Hounslow were selected as Team GB’s crew for the C2, leading to the 37-year-old calling time on his career.
“For over twenty years I have considered myself to be a slalom canoeist and it is time for me to announce the end of a huge chapter in my life,” he said.
“I consider myself both extraordinarily fortunate to have reached this point, and to have the full array of choices before me to take my life forward.”
The removal of the men’s C2 event for Tokyo 2020 has also been a factor in Stott’s decision, but he admitted competing in one Olympics was more than he ever expected.
“Looking back at my young self, I’m sure I displayed no sign that one day I would be an Olympic champion and a consistent world-class competitor,” he added.
“In the end, I got to become an Olympic champion just once, but I now know the true efforts required.
“My ambition now is to help more people realise their potential, so I want to build on my knowledge gained during my career.”