Already at the finish Michael Rösch had tears in his eyes, after the last race of his biathlon career he let his emotions run wild.
"I've never cried so much in my life, that's where everything came from," Rösch said in the ARD,
In the final meters of the 4 x 7.5 km relay in Ruhpolding, "the whole film then rattles off" in his mind's eye.
Rösch is in the lead in the lead
At the place where he had celebrated his first World Cup victory in biathlon in 2006, the 35-year-old, now starting for Belgium, drew a line under his moving career. He was even sensational in the lead at the beginning.
"I've never experienced anything like that," Rösch explained afterwards. "I'm so thankful I did not have a spare at my last official shooting, there really has to be a God on my side."
As leader Rösch went out of the second shooting, but was then passed. "I got a good face on the last lap, but that did not matter to me at the moment, I think I said goodbye to the audience and my team."
In the end, Belgium's team landed on the 19th and penultimate place. The Norwegians took the victory ahead of the German team.
With the German relay the Saxon had won gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, at the World Championships in the following three years, he won each team bronze.
The deep fall of the "fighting pig"
But in early 2011 began the deep fall. Rösch's achievements were not even enough for the second-class IBU Cup. The self-proclaimed "Kampfschwein" laboriously worked their way back from the depths of the German Cup back to the World Cup team - only to learn about its disembarkation on the Internet shortly before the 2012 World Cup.
It came to a break with the DSV, Rösch fled to the Belgian Federation.
To finance his sport, he even sold his house and moved in between his parents. Twelve years after the triumph of Turin and after many setbacks, Rösch in Pyeongchang finally fulfilled the dream of his second Winter Olympics - also thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than € 24,000.
"That gives me strength for the future"
"I'm so thankful that I've been able to go through what I've been through, I can only recommend to anyone to keep going, no matter how deep you are in the shit," Rösch said after his last race.
He wants to remain loyal to the biathlon family, but in which capacity is still open. "What I experienced here in the last few days gives me so much strength and strength for the future," said Rösch. "Everything else that happened before shaped my life."
Resignation for the family
Last week, Rösch had announced at the World Cup in Oberhof to end his professional career after the relay race of Ruhpolding and established his step with the birth of his first child in March. However, if the Belgian squadron needed support again during the rest of the season, the Saxon did not rule out another mission.