Rebensburg, 30, added that her performances in training in recent months showed she could not reach her past top level.

"The cycle closes in a way because the day has come that I end my active career," she said in a video message shot at the site of her first skiing lesson in Bavaria.

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"Today is certainly no easy decision but after my injury earlier in the year and the training in the past months I saw I cannot reach my best any more. It was difficult but unavoidable."

A three-time World Cup winner in the giant slalom, Rebensburg, who also earned 19 World Cup race victories, has been Germany's top Alpine skier since the retirement of three-time Olympic champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch in 2014.

She won her Olympic gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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