The Rundown

Nine Olympic superstars who have retired since the London Games

The Rundown

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With Sir Chris Hoy to retire from cycling at a media conference on Thursday, we look at the top Olympic stars who have ended their careers since the London 2012 Games.

Hoy is set to hang up his racing bike at a press gathering in his home city of Edinburgh, bringing down the curtain on a glittering career win which he won six gold medals.

He went to last summer's London Games with four winners' medals from Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, and added team sprint and keirin golds to establish his credentials as one of the greatest track cyclists of all time.

The multiple-time world champion in a variety of track events has long been preparing for life after the sport, announcing late in 2012 he would be releasing a brand of bicycles bearing his name.

But Hoy is far from the only star to have called it quits on Olympic sport at the highest level since the summer Games in London. Here are nine of our favourites...

1) Michael Phelps: quite simply the greatest swimmer of all time - the 'Baltimore bullet' has an incredible total of 22 medals to his name, including 18 Olympic golds

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2) Rebecca Adlington: Britain's double Olympic swimming gold medallist - retired at the age of just 23 to focus on her campaign and mentoring work after winning bronze medals in the women's 400m and 800m freestyle events in London

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3) Misty May-Treanor: The iconic star of Olympic beach volleyball retired after sealing her third successive gold medal in the sport, having teamed up with fellow American Kerri Walsh Jennings

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4) Victoria Pendleton: The 'Queen' of the velodrome, winner of nine world titles, ended her career after clinching a gold medal in the keirin and a silver in the sprint in London

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5) Ben Ainslie: Britain's greatest ever sailor became the first person to win medals in five different Olympic Games in sailing, and the third to win five Olympic medals in the sport

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6) Wu Minxia: One of the best women's divers in history retired after scoring a perfect 10 to win the women's three-metre springboard gold for China in London

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7) Tim Brabants: The 36-year-old former Olympic canoeing champion ended his illustrious career on Monday after failing to defend his K1 1,000m gold from Beijing

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8) Salinero: One of the most successful Olympic horses in history, he was retired by Anky van Grusven after helping the Netherlands secure the team bronze medal after having recorded two individual Olympic gold medals, as well as a team silver and bronze

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9) Zou Shiming: The most successful amateur boxer China has ever had, Zou hung up his head guard after clinching a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in London. Unlike the rest of the people on the list, he's far from done: he won his pro debut last week, and is tipped as a future world champion

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Can you think of any other top athletes who have retired since the London 2012 Olympic Games? If so, leave your suggestions and tributes below...

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