By Duncan Mackay

Anette NorbergApril 3 - Sweden's Anette Norberg is set to pass up the opportunity to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal at Sochi next year after announcing her retirement today.

The 46-year-old from Härnösand claimed that she had reached the decision during the course of the current season. 

"Curling has been my life for so many years so, of course, there's so much I'll miss," said Norberg, who won the Olympic gold medal at Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.

"But life as a top curling player today is so demanding, and I feel that I lack both the time and commitment that are needed."

In addition to the two Olympic gold medals, Norberg has won three World Championship and seven European Championship titles.

The Swedish that took Olympic gold in Vancouver had already broken up after three members of the team - Eva Lund, Cathrine Lindahl and Anna Le Moine - retired.

Anette Norberg on medal podium Vancouver 2010Anette Norberg (far right) helps her teammates celebrate their Olympic gold medal at Vancouver 2010

But Norberg continued with a young team from Karlstad, which won the World Championship title in its first year at Esbjerg, Denmark, in 2011.

It has struggled to maintain that standard, howevever, and Norberg has decided to retire to concentrate on her career as a senior actuary at Folksam, one of the largest insurance companies in Sweden.

"Naturally, it's a big loss for the curling world when a personality like Anette decides to retire, but fortunately we have other teams that can take over her role," said Stefan Lund, secretary general of the Swedish Curling Association.

"Anette will not disappear from the curling arena.

"In some way she will be still here and a part of the exciting journey towards the future that Swedish curling is on."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]