Denise Herrmann-Wick ends her impressive biathlon career at the cradle of Nordic skiing. The races at the legendary Holmenkollen in Oslo will be the last for Germany's best female ski hunter – already on Sunday afternoon after the mass start is over.

"Right here, in this special place, my long journey as a biathlete and cross-country skier should now come to an end. Of course, with a bit of melancholy. But first and foremost with full gratitude for the many beautiful and emotional moments that I was able to experience in both sports," the 34-year-old said on Instagram on Tuesday. Husband Thomas Wick, family and friends will accompany the Olympic champion and world champion from Friday on in the last three appearances into sports retirement, which are certainly very emotional for her.

After that, Herrmann-Wick sets other priorities – instead of sweaty training and tough competitions, the focus is now on the family. The construction of houses in her adopted home of Ruhpolding is to be promoted. And in the new home, a children's laughter will soon be heard. "After 16 years of cross-country skiing and seven years of biathlon, it's time to start a new chapter. I look forward to the adventures that life has in store for me now," she wrote.

Four weeks after the great home World Championships in Oberhof with the gold medal in the sprint and silver in the pursuit and relay, the right time has come for the Saxon to retire. The German Ski Association loses its currently most successful biathlete. Herrmann-Wick has secured all six podium finishes for the women's team so far this season. Overall, she brings it as a biathlete to nine World Championship and two Olympic medals. In the Biathlon World Cup, the former cross-country skier has so far won ten victories and twelve further podium places.

Herrmann-Wick crowned her career last year in the mountains northwest of Beijing with Olympic gold in the singles. After a previously turbulent season with many low points, her triumph over 15 kilometres was a big surprise. She fulfilled a lifelong dream with the second Olympic medal and also secured the bronze medal for the German team as the final runner. "Every success has its own story, but my Olympic medal in biathlon is of course the greatest and puts everything else in the shade," said Herrmann-Wick. In 2014 she had already won bronze with the cross-country relay in Sochi. Two years later she switched to biathlon.

Their reorientation quickly paid off. In 2019, Herrmann-Wick became world champion in pursuit, also won silver in the mixed relay and bronze in the mass start in Östersund. She even stole the show from Laura Dahlmeier at her last World Cup and became the new face of the team the following year. In addition to her penchant for perfection, it was above all her meticulousness and passion for the sport that made Herrmann-Wick one of the best after the late change. Only the overall World Cup victory is missing in her sporting vita.

Perhaps the most emotional highlight was probably the award ceremony on 11 February in the Oberhofer Kurpark, when she received her sprint gold. "The day yesterday and the emotions here at the medal ceremony, that just stays forever," she said. A circle closed for her, because in Oberhof she fired her first shots in training after her courageous change.

After her third Winter Games last year, there was already speculation about a possible career end, but for Herrmann-Wick it was not yet an issue. "In the end, it has to feel round, and I could imagine how it feels round. But that wasn't it after the Olympics," Herrmann-Wick had said. Her last big goal was Oberhof – and now it feels round.

And Oslo also has a special meaning for them. "It was here that I was able to experience my first World Championship in 2011. At that time still in cross-country skiing, without a rifle on his back. Five years later, I made the decision to switch to biathlon. Here in the cradle of skiing, the traditional Holmenkollen," Herrmann-Wick wrote.

The support of her husband Thomas Wick was particularly important to her. After the wedding last September and the publication of her book, the plans for the house construction are now underway, in the summer it should start. Because the biggest dream of her life was not gold medals, but family and house, as Herrmann-Wick said.