Tristen Chernove’s illustrious Paralympic career has officially come to an end.
Just three days after capturing a silver medal in Tokyo last Thursday (good for his fourth overall including 2016), the cycling star has abruptly retired and withdrawn from his upcoming events.
Chernove was expected to participate in road time trials on Tuesday and the C1 road race Thursday, but instead he will be making his way back to his hometown of Cranbrook, B.C.
This development came on the heels of a surprise withdrawal from the men’s C1 1,000m race scheduled for last Friday – out of the 23 riders in the competition the Canadian was the only one listed as a DNS.
Following his withdrawal from the race, a representative from Cycling Canada commented on his status and future.
“Tristen was having ongoing medical issues so our medical team decided it was best for him not to start today,” said a media contact, via email. “We will make a decision about the time trial and road race this weekend and communicate it early next week.”
Chernove disclosed that, on Aug. 26, during the C1 3,000m medal race at the velodrome, he was battling esophageal spasms – despite the issues, he still claimed the second spot on the podium.
“I’ve been having esophageal spasms that affect some breathing issues. I was super thrilled to make it into the final,” he said.
It is unknown if these spasms (contractions of the esophagus) led to his retirement.
Despite the surprising timing of the retirement, the Canadian was previously transparent that he planned to stop competitively cycling after Tokyo 2020 concluded.
“It’s a pretty emotional games for me because I am retiring from para-cycling after these games and devoting much more of my time to my family … I’m really excited to move on to the next phase,” said Chernove, a father of two daughters.
Chernove’s outstanding competitive career began in 2016 and over the past five years, the cyclist has done nothing but dominate.
His four Paralympic medals – a gold, silver, and bronze in Rio 2016 and a silver in Tokyo 2020 are accompanied by 19 world road and track podiums, 10 of which were gold.
“Tristen has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in para-cycling. Beyond that, he has been an outstanding role model for all of our athletes,” said high performance director Kris Westwood.
“He’s been great to work with as an athlete, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the coming years as an advocate and mentor for para-sport.”
The Canadian Paralympic Committee has expressed full support for Chernove stating they will “support any athletes who withdraw from competition to protect their physical and emotional health.”
NOTE: This story has been updated with new quotes.