/

Nagano Games gold medalist Satoya announces retirement

Kyodo

Freestyle mogul skier Tae Satoya, whose gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics made her the first Japanese woman to win Winter Games gold, will retire at the end of this season, her company, Fuji Television Network Inc., said Friday.

The 36-year-old Satoya made the decision after deciding on her own that making the team for next year’s Sochi Olympic Games in Russia would be very difficult. After retiring, she will work as a company employee.

“It’s been a wonderful career in competition,” she said in a comment. “For 25 years, I’ve been able to compete without ever giving up.”

A retirement ceremony will be held at the World Cup meet in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture.

Satoya won her first national championship when she was a sixth grader in primary school. She began competing at the Olympics in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway, and continued through the 2010 Vancouver Games. Her five winter Olympics are the most among Japanese women. Her bronze medal at Salt Lake City in 2002 made her the first Japanese woman to medal twice at the Winter Games.