Jorien ter Mors, a winner of three Olympic gold medas, has retired ©Getty Images

Dutch speed skater and three-time Olympic champion Jorien ter Mors has retired from the sport following an illustrious 16-year career.

The 32-year-old won gold in the women's 1,500 metres and team pursuit events at Sochi 2014 before triumphing at Pyeongchang 2018 in the 1,000m.

Ter Mors also won a 3,000m relay bronze medal in short track in Pyeongchang, meaning she achieved the rare feat of winning medals in two different disciplines of ice skating at the same Winter Olympic Games.

"After more than 16 years competing at an international level with the seniors in two different disciplines, it is the end of my career and the start of a very nice new beginning," the athlete wrote on social media.

"The fire to fight for the highest attainable has been extinguished.

"I am and continue to find skating very beautiful and I still do it with love.

"At the top level, there must also be the drive to give everything.

"It's not there anymore.

"I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years.

"This includes sponsors, trainers, teammates and other staff members.

"Too many names to name from all the teams.

"Also, all the fans who have always cheered me on.

"I want to thank Team IKO (staff, sponsors, drivers) for the past few years, it hasn't been easy, you have not let me down in very difficult times.

"I would have liked to see the farewell differently, as many know.

"Unfortunately, things don't always go the way you want."

Ter Mors, following Pyeongchang 2018, underwent knee surgery which ruled her out of on-ice training for nine months.

The subsequent recovery took three years.

The retirement decision follows Ter Mors' omission from The Netherlands' Beijing 2022 squad.

Ter Mors retires having appeared at three Olympics, making her debut at Vancouver 2010, and also on multiple world and European titles.