11/29/2012 07:56 EST | Updated 01/29/2013 05:12 EST

Three-time canoeing Olympic champion Tony Estanguet retires at the age of 34

PAU, France - Three-time canoeing Olympic champion Tony Estanguet has retired from the sport at the age of 34.

The Frenchman has dominated the sport for over 12 years, and is also three-time World Champion in the canoe slalom as well as three-time European Champion.

On Thursday, Estanguet says on his Twitter account, "I put my boat away. Retired at 34! Thanks to my family, my sponsors and to you all for this nice story."

Estanguet became the first French athlete to win three Olympic titles in the same discipline when he won gold in London this year, to add to his triumphs in Sydney in 2000 and in Athens four years later.

He was France's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008, but failed to make the final of the canoe slalom.