Australian swimming great Cate Campbell has confirmed her retirement on social media more than a week on from her tearful finale at the Australian Olympic Trials.

“After over 20 years, over 35,000km, over 19,000,000 strokes, 4 Olympics, 8 Olympic medals, 7 World Records and countless memories it’s time to officially say goodbye to the dream I have had since I was 9 years old,” she wrote.

“As of today, I am officially retired from elite sport.”

“I have had some time over the past week to reflect on my career, and while there are many conflicting emotions, especially because it did not end exactly how I had hoped, I am still able to look back without regret.”

Campbell said that because she gave her campaign to make the Olympic team everything she had, “even in failure, there is a small, indelible kernel of pride”.

And while Cate Campbell may not be in the water for her fifth Olympic Games in Paris, her legacy will be there for all to cheer.

After four Olympics, eight Olympic medals and seven world records, the 32-year-old officially announced her retirement today after an emotional Australian Swimming Trials saw the sprint queen miss qualifying for Paris.

Australia’s top Dolphin in the 50m and 100m for more than a decade – who is credited for inspiring the current top wave of Australia’s premier sprinters – will now be head cheerleader for the Dolphins’ Olympic campaign.

“I gave the pursuit of a 5th Olympics everything I had, and therefore, even in failure, there is a small, indelible kernel of pride.

“One of the biggest myths is that swimming is an individual sport. While it was only me under the bright lights behind the starting blocks, there was a small army of people who got me to that place. So, I would like to thank my extended team over the years.

“My family, my friends, my partner, my competitors, my Australian Dolphins teammates, my management team, my physios, my coaches, Swimming Australia, the Queensland Academy of Sport, the Australian Olympic Committee, the New South Wales Institute of Sport, my sponsors, the swimming officials and referees, the basket kids, the events teams and every single swimming fan who has supported me over the years.

“It’s been a long and wild ride and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t wait to cheer on the Australian Dolphins and the rest of the Australian Olympic Team in Paris. I am entering my cheerleading era.”

The majority of Cate’s medals were won with her teammates in the 4x100m free relays – including the past three Olympic Titles in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 in world-record times.

At her first Olympics in 2008 at the age of 16, Cate was fastest qualifier into the semis of the 50 free, in 24.20. She qualified fifth for the final in 24.42, and then clocked 24.17 in the final for bronze behind Germany’s Britta Steffen and Australia teammate Libby Lenton (Trickett). Both Australians also took bronze in the 4×100 free relay.

In Tokyo 13 years later, Cate served as Australia’s joint flagbearer before claiming gold in the 4x100m medley and bronze in the 100m freestyle, her success and even presence in that solo race testament to her towering perseverance in the five years since she entered the Rio 2016 100m final as hot favourite but suffered a debilitating bout of nerves and emerged sixth in 53.24.

Cate summed up her retirement note with: “All my love, Cate xx.”

Article courtesy of Swimming Australia

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.