Ski jumper Kaarel Nurmsalu, who recently turned 23, today announced his retirement from professional sport, citing a lack of financial backing. Figure skater Jelena Glebova, 24, retired at the end of May.
“After months of trying to get a budget together for the next season. Kaarel decided to retire. The reasons is simple - the budget wouldn’t be sufficient to make the next step,” his social media fan site announced today.
He had earlier said he was seeking a minimum of 160,000 euros by the end of May and had already picked out his support team.
Despite posting average results at the Sochi Olympics, Nurmsalu jumped to his best ever result at the beginning of March at a world championship event in Oslo.
He jumped 129 and 123 meters and came sixth. His previous best was 13th.
Nurmsalu began his career as a Nordic combined skier, winning a bronze medal at the 2011 Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in Otepää in both the men's normal hill 5 kilometer and 10 kilometer events. He also won a bronze medal in the men's normal hill ski jump in Otepää.
Both Nurmsalu and Glebova were among the few Estonian winter sport athletes competing in the top 30 in the world.