2018-08-23 03:20:00 CET

Kolocová says goodbye

The Czech defender decided to retire at the age of 30

Frustrating results and exhaustion led Kolocová to decide to retire Frustrating results and exhaustion led Kolocová to decide to retire

One of the most accomplished beach volleyball players in the Czech Republic, defender Kristýna Kolocová, has decided to withdraw from the sport at the end of the 2018 international season.

The 30-year-old veteran announced her decision a couple of weeks after the Vienna Major, the last tournament of her career.

“It was something I was thinking about for some time,” the player, known in the World Tour as Kiki, told beachmajorseries.com. “With the season coming to an end, I just felt it was the right time. Some might think it’s early considering my age, but I’ve been playing in the World Tour for 10 seasons and I feel it’s enough.”

Konec je novým začátkem... Po 20 letech hraní volejbalu se to těžko shrnuje, těžko se konkrétně někomu děkuje... Volejbal byl můj život, je to jedna dlouhá životní etapa, která pro mě končí. Vlastně bych ráda poděkovala snad úplně všem. Rodině, spoluhráčkám, trenérům, kamarádům, sponzorům a partnerům, fanouškům, znamým a znamým známých.... Jsem šťastná a vděčná, že jsem tohle všechno mohla díky sportu a vám všem zažít. Bylo to úžasný! A víte co, už teď se moc těšim, co mě v té další životní kapitole čeká. Věřim, že bude minimálně tak skvělá jako ta volejbalová... #goodbye #beachvolleyball #itwasfun #greatmemories #neverforget @ceskyvolejbal @olympijskytym @beachmajorseries @fivbvolleyball @cevolleyball

1,433 Likes, 69 Comments - Kristyna 🏐K I K I 👙Kolocova (@kristyna.kiki) on Instagram: "Konec je novým začátkem... Po 20 letech hraní volejbalu se to těžko shrnuje, těžko se konkrétně..."

Kolocová started competing in the World Tour in 2009 and left the sport with 86 international tournaments under her belt. The defender, who finished fifth at the 2012 London Olympics, had Markéta Sloková as her most frequent partner, sharing the court with her between 2009 and 2016. The team competed in 62 events, winning two golds, in Prague and Berlin, both in 2014.

After their partnership ended, Kolocová joined Michala Kvapilová, a former indoor player, and the duo had a successful 2017 season, winning a silver medal in the European Championships and qualifying to the World Tour Finals. This season, however, the team struggled after winning the European Master in Pelhrimov and finished 17th in the Fort Lauderdale, Gstaad and Vienna Majors.

“Our performance last season was certainly one of the factors that I considered when I decided to retire,” Kolocová explained. “We had big goals and our level dropped despite of our hard work. But it wasn’t the only reason. I never enjoyed all the travels and recently I was feeling tired and constantly injured, so I decided I didn’t want to continue.”

Kolocová during her last match, against Americans Hughes and Summer, in the Vienna MajorKolocová during her last match, against Americans Hughes and Summer, in the Vienna Major

For the defender, the most important legacy of her career won’t be any of her medals or her Olympic appearance in London, but instead, the role she played in making beach volleyball more popular in the Czech Republic.

“I loved playing beach volleyball and having great results, but I’m very proud of how popular the sport became in my country during my playing time,” she added. “Several kids are involved with the sport now and that’s great.”

While her former partner Kvapilová looks for a new teammate, Kolocová will now decide what her next steps will be. If most of her plans are not clear right now, the desire of starting a family is among them.

“I’ll take some time to decide what to do next,” she said. “I’ll see which options come up and then I’ll pick whichever I like the most. My husband and I would like to start and family and maybe that’s not something that will happen now, but it’s in our plans.”

Congratulations on a remarkable career and good luck on your next steps, Kristýna!

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