World Champion Petra Olli Announces Retirement
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 16:35 By United World Wrestling Press
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (February 27) -- Petra OLLI (FIN), one of the world's top wrestlers, announced her retirement from competition on Tuesday at the age of 25.
"This has been the most difficult decisions of my career, but one that has been very carefully considered," said Olli.
Olli captured a gold medal at the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, at 65kg, becoming the first-ever Finnish world champion in women's wrestling. She was a silver medalist at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas at 58kg.
In addition, Olli is a four-time European medalist, winning gold medals in 2016 and 2018, as well as European bronze medals in 2014 and 2019.
In 2018, United World Wrestling recognized Olli as the Best Wrestler of the Year in women's wrestling.
Olli battled health problems in 2019 that prevented her from competing at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. This winter she spent time training at the Kuortane OTC in Finland and in Beijing, China.
She recently competed at the European Championships, in Rome, Italy, where she finished fifth at 65kg.
"It takes tremendous courage to honestly acknowledge to ourselves and others that the internal fuel is no longer at the level required to be at the top," Olli said. "So it's time for me to step aside from the role of a top wrestler at the age of 25. Wrestling has given me a lot and will continue to do so. I believe that the hard work and example of my entire team we have been able to create a solid foundation for Finnish women's wrestling. This will make it easier for the next generation to aim at a successful career in wrestling."
Olli trained under Ahto RASKA, a coach she has high praise for.
"I was extremely lucky to have Ahto Raska as my coach," said Olli. "It wasn't always easy, but together with Ahto and with hard work we made it possible to reach the top. Ahto is friendly, responsible, humane, strict, demanding and skillful. I wish that many athletes would be able to have a coach like him."