June 01, 2015

VIENNA (AP) Austrian skier Nicole Hosp is retiring, less than four months after winning her 12th medal at a major championship.

''I feel now is the right time for a change,'' said the 31-year-old Hosp, whose biggest triumph was winning the 2007 overall World Cup title.

Hosp took silver in the combined event at the worlds in Beaver Creek in February, repeating her achievement from the Olympics a year before. She also won super-G bronze in Sochi, adding to slalom silver from the 2006 Turin Games.

A year after winning the overall championship in 2007, Hosp finished runner-up to Lindsey Vonn as the American clinched her first of four overall titles.

Hosp's career suffered a setback following a knee injury that sidelined her for the entire 2009-10 season, making her miss the Vancouver Olympics.

Failing to match her previous successes, Hosp decided to drop her formerly strongest event - the giant slalom - and focus on speed races and slaloms.

''Many people had written me off,'' Hosp said. ''Many didn't believe I could get back to my old level. I am very proud I proved them wrong and managed to get back to the top again.''

Hosp's retirement wasn't unexpected. She said after her last race at the World Cup finals in March that she ''won't be racing forever.''

Since her World Cup debut in 2001, Hosp won 12 races. She celebrated her maiden win at the historic season-opening GS in 2002 as she shared victory with Tina Maze and Andrine Flemmnen in the first ever World Cup race with three winners.

Being an all-rounder, Hosp's victories were spread across all Alpine disciplines except for downhill. She reached her only World Cup podium in the last downhill she competed in, though she earned bronze in the sport's fastest discipline at the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden.

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