2017-10-23 12:19:00 CEST
Austrian legend calls time on career
Two-time Olympian and 2013 European Champion Steffi Schwaiger has announced that she has served the Mikasa for the last time, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious career on the beach.
No woman in FIVB history has played more international World Tour tournaments than the 31-year-old Austrian, who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games with sister Doris.
Schwaiger won four silver medals and three bronze during her career, which started with her first international tournament in 2003. Poignantly, her last appearance came on home sand in Vienna, where she and Katharina Schützenhöfer finished 17th at the World Championships.
“I have decided to finish my career after 15 years,” Schwaiger revealed on her Facebook page. “When I look back over the past 15 years I am full of pride and with a smile on my face.”
She continued: “When I first competed with my sister on the World Tour in 2003 I could have never dreamed of the success that I have achieved during my career in volleyball.
“Defeats helped me further develop myself as a person and a sportswoman. I would not be the person who I am today if I had not fought back from some of those setbacks.”
Understandably, the European Championship title – won on home sand in Klagenfurt with Doris – was high on Steffi’s list of achievements.
“My personal highlight was the 2012 European Championship,” she said. “I will never forget this triumph in the homeland. It was a special honor that my sister and I were honored as Austrian Team of the Year.”
Schwaiger leaves the beach volleyball arena with the best wishes from everyone at the Swatch Major Series.