Canadian biathlete Nathan Smith after a career of historic results

CANMORE, Alta. — The first Canadian man to win a world championship biathlon medal has retired from the sport.

Nathan Smith of Calgary won a silver medal in the 10-kilometre pursuit at the 2015 world championship in Kontiolahti, Finland.

The two-time Olympian also won a World Cup gold medal in 2015 and helped the men’s relay team win a world championship bronze in 2016.

Smith was just the second Canadian man to win a World Cup race after Jean-Philippe Le Guellec in 2012.

Smith, 32, made Sunday’s relay at a World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, the final race of a 16-year career representing Canada.

“Emotional,” Smith told the International Biathlon Union on social media. “Everything you do every day, when you do training for the World Cup for years it’s very repetitive, but it’s a comfortable thing.

“Now I don’t have to do that any more. It’s going to be a change.”

A virus sidelined Smith for most of the 2016-17 season.

“I got sick two and a half years ago,” he said. “I kept fighting and fighting and fighting to come back to where I was before I got sick. I had setbacks, but I had points where I was really promising so I kept fighting.

“I wanted to give it one more try to see what could happen this winter. It didn’t turn out how I’d hoped. I’m still glad I tried.”

Smith competed in the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Games, with his best result 11th in the 12.5k pursuit.

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