It's time to say goodbye.

I have had the most empowering years of my life throughout this career.  Now, I can freely state that I will close this chapter and write a brand new one.

It's difficult to summarize a 10-year international career in an email.  I'm most grateful for these last 3 independent seasons full of real-life tests and real-life rewards.  Thank you for believing in my massive goals and potential to achieve them.  This journey, just the way it was, made Team Larisa 3rd in the World.  That's as gold as it gets.. 

With all that said, during the Sochi Olympics 2014, I could not put my socks on without my heel fixed to the ground for support.  I have been unable to recover from Lake Louise these past few years until the New Year, nearly 20 days later.  Most recently, I had my 5th knee surgery on what was my 'good knee'.  The load required to race at 140km/h was being juggled between two less-than-athletic knees... such is sport.  I've defied odds with a "career-ending injury" 6 years ago.. My surgeon said last week, "I'm still impressed that you ever skied again, Larisa."  (Immense kudos to everyone involved, health-wise, throughout the last 6 years.  You know too well who you are.)  However, I know in my heart, after yet another, health has the final say.  I do not have the health to test the limit any longer.  And the limit MUST be tested daily in this sport if you want gains.  Not just a little bit, but you need to be willing to lose everything.  Rudyard Kipling says:

"If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,’ll be a Man, my son!"

I've loved this poem since I read it years ago... what resonates has changed.

So, again, like Rudyard Kipling says, I will "keep my head about me" and enjoy another path.  One of my coaches from Sweden told me years ago, "when skiing ends, life begins."  He's around 100 years old, I really trust those guys.. They've seen a lot.

Julia Roth, a great young racer chewed up and spit out by the Canadian ski team's mismanagement, once said, "if you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

I've lived this way, pushing my limits, pushing my body, my mind.  I've also preached it.. "Ski Fast, Be Brave."  But now it's time.  Being brave for me is stepping out.

And if there's a pull, it's my passion for business.. Negotiating contracts, hiring good people, managing a six-figure budget.  But I feel both accomplished and relieved as I turn on my slow-cooker and learn about a whole new world.

I am taking on handfuls of speaking engagements and will be renegotiating current partnerships for future ambassadorship.

Thank you for creating a lifelong lesson of grit and it's grand return.  It's been an absolute pleasure.