Three-time U.S. Olympic biathlete Tim Burke made an announcement on social media Monday that he would be pulling out of the current season as athletes head to PyeongChang, South Korea for the seventh World Cup stop on the 2016-17 tour. With three events remaining in the season, Burke posted a message on his Facebook page explaining what led to his decision.
Retirement seemed certain for Burke after his third Olympics in Sochi, but unsatisfied with his results in Russia – he finishing no higher than 19th in four individual events – the Lake Placid, N.Y. native decided to continue his pursuit for an Olympic medal through 2018.
Burke has had to overcome several setbacks, most notably a hip operation in 2002 which nearly stole his dreams of competing in the Olympics. He missed his 2004 season completely after contracting mononucleosis, but Burke came back and was able to qualify for his first Olympic Games in 2006 in Torino.
The news of Burke’s latest career blow comes after Team USA had its best showing ever at this month’s biathlon world championships. Teammate Lowell Bailey became the first biathlete to win world championship gold for the U.S., while Susan Dunklee won the first individual medal for a U.S. woman at a world championship, taking home silver.