By Mike Rowbottom

Amy Williams_02-05-12May 2 - Britain's Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams has announced her immediate retirement from skeleton.

The 29-year-old (pictured above) had been struggling with injury and form and has quit two years after her victory at the Vancouver Games.

Williams, who was also silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships, told BBC Sport: "My injuries have been causing me a lot of pain.

"I ruptured my knee a week ago.

"It has got to the point where it is not really much fun anymore."

She added: "I feel it is now time for me to see what other challenges lie ahead.

"I am extremely proud to have represented my country and have enjoyed every moment.

"I told myself after Vancouver that I would have a little break then get back on the ice and compete again, because there is still nothing I love more than getting on my sled and going down the track.

Amy Williams_on_bob_Vancouver_2010
"I'm still convinced I could have gone to Sochi and won another medal, but it would take an awful lot of sacrifices and it has just come to the point where my body is screaming at me to stop.

"It is easy for an athlete to stay in their comfort zone, but it takes a bit of guts and bravery to step outside it and find another challenge in life.

"I am happy and content with what I have achieved in my sport.

"After achieving my lifetime goal of winning an Olympic gold medal, I feel the time is right that I make way for the next generation of athletes to come through."

Williams, awarded an MBE in 2010, found her British teammates outperforming her on her return to the World Cup circuit.

Lizzy Yarnold_02-05-12
Shelley Rudman, the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic silver medallist, is the current World Cup champion and Lizzy Yarnold (pictured above) became junior world champion, won a bronze medal at the World Championships this year, and two World Cup races in her first year on the senior circuit.

Williams admitted: "I'm not sure what I'll do next.

"I'd love to do adventure challenge television work and use that craziness that you need in our sport.

"I'm going to dive into the London Olympics because I'm one of the ambassadors for that.

"Enough is enough after a while.

"I still want to have a fit body to do other things in life."

Williams was the only medallist for Team GB at the 2010 Games, breaking the track record twice to win by half a second in front of Germany's Kerstin Szymkowiak.

In doing so she became Britain's first solo Winter Olympic gold medallist since ice skater Robin Cousins in 1980.

Amy Williams_wins_Glamour_Sportswoman_of_the_Year_award
"I'll never forget that moment when I won the gold medal, 10 years of training got me there," Williams added.

"I sometimes like to think I'd do it all over again, but I know I need to move on."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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