o Cross-country skiing

Maurice Manificat has achieved numerous victories - here he is celebrating winning a skiathlon in Canmore (2012). © APA/epa / MIKE STURK

20 years at the top of the world: Cross-country skiing icon is calling it a day

The 37-year-old cross-country skier Maurice Manificat is ending his career at the end of this season after more than 20 years in skiing.

He will compete for the last time on March 10th. On Sunday, the Frenchman “Momo” Manificat will compete in his 273rd World Cup race. It will be the last of his active sports career. Hardly any place is better suited to the 37-year-old's retirement than the mystical Holmenkollen in the north-west of Oslo. There he ends the season with the classic mass start over a distance of 50km.


Manificat's career begins in 1997 when he was just 11 years old. In 2009 he won his first gold medal at the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in the 15km freestyle. With a single silver medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships, his individual successes are few and far between. However, together with the French relay, Manificat is more convincing: numerous 3rd places followed at the Olympic Winter Games and World Championships.

“As a symbol, it is time for me to hand over the baton to this already brilliant French team.” With these words, Manificat addresses his teammates on Instagram. His statement shows his sportsmanship and his deep connection to sport. For the time being, he is not revealing whether Manificat will remain with the team in another role.

Manificat is currently in 207th place in the overall ranking with 69 points. The relay is led by Norwegian Harald Østberg Amundsen with 2.194 points.

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