By Tom Degun

Viviane ForestApril 3 - Viviane Forest, the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, has announced her retirement.

The 33-year-old visually impaired athlete from Edmonton is a triple Paralympic champion having won gold as part of the Canadian women's goalball team at Sydney 2000 and again at Athens 2004 before taking a third gold in the women's visually impaired downhill event at Vancouver 2010 alongside with guide Lindsay Debou.

Forest also took three silvers and a bronze at Vancouver 2010 in a stunning display in front of her home crowd in what was her last Paralympic Games.

Forest announced her retirement at the Sport Chek Para-Alpine Canadian Championships in Sun Peaks, British Columbia, as she took a celebratory run down the giant slalom course as a farewell to competitive ski racing where she was guided by skiing legend Nancy Greene Raine.

"I'm very happy with my career," said Forest,

"I couldn't hope for anything better.

"I went through some amazing moments and I was the best in the world in some disciplines, and then I hurt myself in 2010.

"I didn't want to finish my career with an injury.

"I know it happens a lot in sport but I hoped that I would have the opportunity to prove to myself that I could still do it and not be afraid to ski fast again.

"I wanted to finish on a good note."

Viviane Forest Vancouver 2010Viviane Forest (with blond hair) celebrates her Winter Paralympic gold medal in Vancouver 2010 with her Canadian team-mates

Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) President David Legg has also paid tribute to Forest's remarkable career.

"On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, a heartfelt thank you to Viviane for her contributions to Paralympic sport and congratulations on her successful career," he said.

"Viviane will no doubt be missed on the Para-Alpine ski team, yet we know the programme is in good hands and is poised to continue its winning tradition at the upcoming 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi next year."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]