Described as one of Canada's greatest athletes, rower Silken Laumann has decided to retire.

Appearing shaky at times, smiling at others, the 34-year old Lauman officially announced she was hanging up her oars. She says it took a year to make up her mind. She still loves rowing and feels she's capable of competing internationally.

Laumann will instead focus on her family and a career as a speaker and an ambassador for children's charities. She has had some spectacular ups and downs since her career started in 1983. Laumann describes her greatest accomplishment as winning the world single sculls championship in 1991.

She still managed to win a bronze medal at the '92 Barcelona Olympics despite an injury that ripped open her leg. But she also tested positive for a banned stimulant after taking an over the counter cold remedy at the 1995 Pan American Games.

Laumann says she'll miss rowing and the stress of competition. But she's confident that the future of Canadian rowing is in good hands.