OTTAWA, Canada -- Two-time Olympian Keegan Messing, one of the most popular figure skaters of his generation, announced Friday that he was retiring from competition after a career that spanned nearly three decades and included two Canadian championships.
Messing was born in Alaska and began his career skating for the U.S. before switching to Canada, where he achieved his greatest success. He competed in five world championships and twice medaled in Grand Prix events, but his popularity came largely from his effervescent and free-spirited attitude on the ice rather than his results.
"I don't feel burdened with what I couldn't achieve but fulfilled with what I've gained and accomplished," Messing said, "I can step away knowing that I've truly made a difference in the sport and that I've accomplished all I set out for."
In an era of high-flying jumps, where the quad has become a staple among men's skaters, Messing was able to keep pace. This past season, the 31-year-old was second at Four Continents, won the Nebelhorn Trophy and his second national title.
Messing said he plans to continue skating in exhibitions while spending more time with his family.
"He was always very humble, well respected by his peers, and wanted the best for all his competitors," said Mike Slipchuk, the high-performance director for Skate Canada. "He will be missed but has left a strong impact not only on our program but in figure skating worldwide, and we look forward to his continued involvement with skating in Canada."