Olympic gold medalist and Israeli trailblazer Linoy Ashram set to retire

Ashram etched her name in history books when she became the first Israeli woman to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 OLYMPIC GOLD medalist Linoy Ashram is greeted by family and friends as she arrives at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this month (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
OLYMPIC GOLD medalist Linoy Ashram is greeted by family and friends as she arrives at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this month
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Israeli rhythmic gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Linoy Ashram is set to retire next week at 23 years of age, Israeli media reported.

Ashram will call a press conference early next week, according to reports, to officially announce her retirement and possibly reveal future plans.

Most recently, Ashram etched her name in history books when she became the first Israeli woman to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Winner of the women's rhythmic individual all-around competition, Ashram also became the first non-Russian athlete to win the competition since 1996, beating the Averina twins to the gold.

Apart from her Olympic success in Tokyo last summer, the Rishon Lezion native is also a two-time European all-around champion, including the 2020 championships that took place in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Ashram also won gold in the 2021 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup series all-around competition. 

In total, Ashram has won 21 gold medals since making her competitive debut in the 2016 Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships, which took place in Holon, Israel.

ISRAEL'S LINOY ASHRAM performs in the ribbon component of the women's all-around rhythmic gymnastics finals competition on Saturday. The 22-year-old Israeli captured the gold medal, the first blue-and-white female Olympian to stand atop the podium. (credit: REUTERS)ISRAEL'S LINOY ASHRAM performs in the ribbon component of the women's all-around rhythmic gymnastics finals competition on Saturday. The 22-year-old Israeli captured the gold medal, the first blue-and-white female Olympian to stand atop the podium. (credit: REUTERS)

Despite retiring at such a young age, Ashram's decision to hang up her ribbon comes as little surprise. At only 23-years-old, Ashram is considered a veteran of the sport.

Despite some athletes managing to maintain top physical shape in order to carry on for another few years, most gymnasts are forced into retirement at a young age due to the intense physical toll amassed after years of elite training.

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper reacted to the news of Ashram's retirement, saying "Linoy is a role model in Israeli sports who reached unprecedented heights."

"Beyond being an outstanding athlete, Linoy is a special, caring and giving person. She remained modest even after reaching the pinnacle of athletic achievement."

"Linoy leaves our sport with a legacy of a tremendous career and a valuable role model for young girls who see her as an inspiring figure," Tropper added.