Star gymnast Giulia Steingruber retires

Giulia Steingruber poses with her gold medal after winning the vault final at the European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Bulgaria in 2014 Keystone / Georgi Licovski

Giulia Steingruber, the most decorated Swiss gymnast in history, has announced her retirement.

This content was published on October 1, 2021 - 12:11

“My head and my body are tired,” she said at a press conference on Friday in her hometown of Gossau, northeastern Switzerland. The decision was not a surprise; she had hinted at it after the recent Tokyo Olympics.

The 27-year-old vault specialist explained that the past five years had been difficult, with various injuries and the death of her sister, who had been severely disabled since birth.

Steingruber was the first Swiss woman to win an Olympic medal in gymnastics, finishing third in the vault in Rio in 2016. In Brazil she also had the honour of carrying the Swiss flag at the opening ceremony.

She also won bronze at the World Championships, in 2017, as well as six golds at the European Championships.

She won her last European title on the vault this April in Basel, despite a muscle tear in her thigh suffered a few days before the competition. It was her tenth medal at the European Championships.

Down to earth

Despite her success, Steingruber always remained modest and down to earth, according to the Swiss News Agency Keystone-SDA.

She learnt early on to address problems and to stand up for herself and defend herself – politely but firmly. This, it said, is probably why she never experienced verbal or physical abuse in the harsh environment of elite gymnastics, which has been plagued by allegations of abuse.

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