Maiken Caspersen Falla has announced her retirement from cross-country skiing  ©Getty Images

Sochi 2014 Olympic champion Maiken Caspersen Falla has announced her retirement from cross-country skiing.

Falla represented Norway at four Winter Olympics during her career, debuting at Vancouver 2010 and making her final appearance at Beijing 2022.

Falla won gold in the women’s classic sprint event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, topping the podium ahead of compatriot Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Slovenia’s Vesna Fabjan.

She finished as the silver medallist in the same event four years later at Pyeongchang 2018, as well as claiming team sprint bronze.

Falla also secured 10 World Championship podium finishes in her career, including five gold medals across individual, team sprint and relay events.

The Norwegian star was crowned women’s sprint World Cup champion in three successive years from 2016 to 2018, with her career including 22 individual and six team World Cup wins.

"I have had many wonderful years in cross-country skiing," Falla wrote on Instagram.

"The cross-country skiing environment has been with me since I was little and is a big part of who I am.

"After 12 seasons on the women's team, I have achieved all my goals and reached further than I had ever dreamed of.

"The last few seasons I have had to fight hard.

"Now I feel that the time has come to take care of myself - and not push it anymore."

"I am so incredibly grateful for all the good times with my cross-country family, and for having cultivated my passion for so many years with so many nice people around me," Falla added.

"It's sad to say goodbye, but it still feels good and right.

"I'm curious about life outside of top sports."

Falla retires with the second-highest number of World Cup individual and team sprint victories among female skiers, recording 22 overall.

Compatriot Marit Bjørgen boasts the record with 40 triumphs.

Falla also shares the record for most sprint wins in a single season alongside Slovenia’s Petra Majdic, after winning eight races.

Her final World Cup win came with classic sprint success in Drammen in March.

Falla won the classic sprint event six times in 12 years in front of a home crowd in Drammen.