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Canadian Olympic gold medalist Mathieu Giroux retires

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According to Steve Boudreau of the Canadian Olympic Committee on Thursday, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Mathieu Giroux of Montreal, Quebec announced his retirement from long track speed skating at the age of 28. Giroux won a gold medal in the men's team pursuit speed skating event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver with Denny Morrison of Chetwynd, British Columbia and Lucas Makowsky of Regina, Saskatchewan.

Giroux, Morrison and Makowsky posted a time of 3:42.38 to beat Italy by 3.97 seconds in the quarterfinals of the team pursuit competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Then the Canadian trio posted a time of 3:42.22 to beat Norway by 1.22 seconds in the semifinals, and then posted a time of 3:41.37 to beat the United States by 0.21 seconds.

The gold medal won by Giroux. Morrison and Makowsky was the biggest surprise among the 14 gold medals Canada won at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. It was the Canadian women who were expected to come away with hardware, but Kristina Groves, Christine Nesbitt and Brittany Schussler were shocked in the quarterfinals by the United States.

Giroux, Morrison and Makowsky returned to the podium a year later and won a silver medal at the 2011 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in Inzell, Germany. This time the American trio of Shani Davis, Trevor Marsicano and Jonathan Kuck got revenge in capturing the gold.

Giroux now plans to focus on obtaining a degree in pharmacology at the University of Montreal. According to the Canadian Press, Giroux has worked hard the last couple of years trying to combine his academics and athletics.

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