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3-time Olympic cyclist Hammer retires

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    Sarah Hammer of the United States celebrates after the women’s omnium cycling time trial at the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The three-time Olympian, one of the most decorated track cyclists in U.S. history, is retiring after a prolific career spanning more than two decades. The 34-year-old announced that she’s stepping away from competitive riding to focus on the training facility that she founded in Colorado Springs with her coach and husband, Andy Sparks.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. >> Three-time Olympian Sarah Hammer, one of the most decorated track cyclists in U.S. history, is retiring after a prolific career spanning more than two decades.

The 34-year-old Hammer announced today that she’s stepping away from competitive riding to focus on the training facility that she founded in Colorado Springs with her coach and husband, Andy Sparks.

Hammer began riding at age 8 and won her first junior title in 1995. She briefly walked away from the sport in 2003, citing burnout, but returned to make the U.S. team for the 2008 Beijing Games.

Focusing on endurance events, Hammer won four Olympic medals and eight world titles and set two world records. Her team pursuit of a silver medal at the 2012 London Games — won with teammates Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo — was chronicled in the documentary “Personal Gold: An Underdog Story.”

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