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Canadian cross-country skier Daria Gaiazova retires at age 30

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CANMORE, Alta. - Canadian cross-country skier Daria Gaiazova is retiring from competition.

The 30-year-old from Banff, Alta., a 10-year veteran of the World Cup circuit, had the rare opportunity to compete at Olympics in Canada, her adopted country, and Russia, the country of her birth.

She made her Olympic debut at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and closed out her career by competing in Sochi earlier this year.

Gaiazova moved to Canada in 1999 when she was 15.

"I thought I had a little more left in the tank, but having some good discussion with my dad while on a bike trip in Scotland, I realized the time is right to leave the competitive side of sport," said Gaiazova. "Truly I can't think of a better way to go out. To have a rare opportunity to race two Olympic Games in my home countries."

Known as Dasha to her friends and family, Gaiazova captured two World Cup bronze medals during her career.

"As much as I'd love to race competitively forever, there comes a time when the body says it is time to go," said Gaiazova.

She's not sure what she'll do next but she hopes sport is always a part of her life.

"The last four years have been nothing short of a grind, and right now I want to take some time this summer and research what I want to do next," said Gaiazova. "I know one thing for sure is I still want to be involved in sport at some capacity."

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