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By The Associated Press
Edmonton, Alberta (AP) — Olympic champion cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer has decided she won’t try to defy the odds one more time.
Muenzer, who won the sprint gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games at the age of 38, announced on Monday she is retiring from cycling.
She plans to concentrate on her company Pure Momentum Inc., which promotes Canadian female motivational speakers, and devote time to a program she’s established to develop young cyclists.
“I really thought long and hard about it,” Muenzer said. “To be able to have the ultimate performance you have to have so many things in alignment to make it happen.”
Muenzer beat women half her age in Athens to become the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold in cycling. At the 2005 world championships she had a fifth- and two seventh-place finishes.
Muenzer announced last October that she was taking the year off, but didn’t rule out competing at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Muenzer, who struggled to find financial support and sponsors, eventually decided it was time to shift gears.
“When I was looking at it I (decided) I wanted to start on a new chapter and move toward developing my company,” she said.
During her career, Muenzer won two silver and two bronze world championship medals, 11 World Cup medals, and a silver and bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. She also was a 13-time Canadian champion.