Two-time reigning Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger will not compete in the upcoming luge season as she and her husband are expecting their first child in April.
The 31-year-old, the most successful female luge athlete of all time, is due to give birth in April 2020.
Geisenberger, who plans to continue her career in the 2020-2021 season, has won five medals - including a luge record-equalling four golds - at the Winter Olympic Games.
Her break from sliding means there will be a new International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup overall women’s champion for the first time in eight years.
"My husband and I are very pleased to announce that we are able to fulfil our wish of a complete family," Geisenberger said on her Facebook page.
Geisenberger still hopes to compete at Beijing 2022, where she could match fellow German great Georg Hackl's feat of winning three consecutive Olympic singles gold medals.
As well as her singles triumphs at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018, she was also part of Germany’s winning relay teams at both Games.
Geisenberger's 49 FIL World Cup singles wins are another record and she is one of two sliders to win seven consecutive FIL World Cup overall titles.
Austria’s Markus Prock claimed the men’s crown each season from 1990-1991 through to 1996-1997.
The top returning women from last season’s FIL World Cup standings are now Germany's Julia Taubitz and the United States’ Summer Britcher, the second and third-place finishers, respectively.
Fourth-placed Dajana Eitberger of Germany is also pregnant and expecting a baby in February, meaning she will also be absent during the 2019-2020 season.