Two-time Olympic freestyle aerials skier Warren Shouldice has decided to retire from competition after spending the past decade as a member of the Canadian national freestyle ski team.
The 29-year-old Calgarian captured the 2011 world championship in Deer Valley, Utah, and hit the podium a dozen times during 61 FIS World Cup starts, including top spot at the 2011 World Cup at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. He also won a bronze at the world championships in 2009.
Shouldice, known as Wookie, was sixth at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and was 10th in Vancouver in 2010. He suffered a concussion this past season and said it was a tough decision to pack it in.
“It’s not a decision that you come to quickly,” Shouldice said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about probably ever since the Vancouver Games, but after the Games I decided that I had a little bit more in me and I managed to pull it together for that performance at worlds.
“After getting injured in 2012 and taking some time off I found that I really enjoyed my time at home. I went to school and realized that I am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I’m really excited about getting an education, getting a job and moving forward.”
In 2002, Shouldice broke his neck in a training accident, and suffered a concussion and compressed vertebrae in 2009. Each time, he battled back, showing plenty of mettle.
“Wookie was one of those athletes who was not only a marquee performer, but he developed into a real team leader,” said Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge. “That’s the beauty of being involved with an athlete from the time they’re an adolescent, you really see an evolution and with Wookie it was profound. He was always a little in the shadows when he was younger but when it was his time to step up and lead the team he did it very well and was respected not only by his teammates but by competitors from other countries as well.”