Israel's Rhythmic gymnastics Olympic champ Linoy Ashram retires at 22

Ashram won the individual all-around gold in Tokyo last year to break Russia's 20-year-long stranglehold on the Olympic title.

 LINOY ASHRAM brought home the gold in rhythmic gymnastics.  (photo credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)
LINOY ASHRAM brought home the gold in rhythmic gymnastics.
(photo credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Israel's Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion Linoy Ashram has announced her retirement at the age of 22. She will be taking up a coaching role.

Ashram won the individual all-around gold in Tokyo last year to break a Russian stranglehold on the Olympic title that stretched back to 2000. 

"That my business card says Olympic champion, I know it was worth making this journey," Ashram told a news conference on Monday.

"An athlete needs to know when to retire. I have fulfilled my dream. I will continue but on the other side."

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Rhythmic - Individual All-Around - Final - Rotation 1 - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - August 7, 2021. Linoy Ashram of Israel in action with hoop (credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Gymnastics - Rhythmic - Individual All-Around - Final - Rotation 1 - Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan - August 7, 2021. Linoy Ashram of Israel in action with hoop (credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)

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.

Ashram added that she will be joining her former coach Ayelet Sussman's team.

Ashram won six silver and five bronze medals across 2017, 2018 and 2019 world championships, and claimed two golds and a bronze at last year's World Cup. She also won all-around gold at the European Championships in 2020.

Tal Spungin contributed to this report.