Aussie swimming star Cate Campbell announces her retirement with emotional message

Jun 27, 2024
Following her shock announcement, fans near and far offered their messages of support for Campbell with many congratulating her for an "amazing career". Source: Darren England/AAP PHOTOS.

Aussie swimming legend Cate Campbell has stunned the sports world by announcing her retirement, her decision following a near miss in her quest to become the first Australian swimmer to compete in five Olympics.

Campbell narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Paris Games in both the 100m and 50m freestyle events during the recent trials in Brisbane.

Having amassed eight Olympic gold medals and set seven world records during her illustrious career, the 32-year-old shared the emotional news on Wednesday, June 26 in a heartfelt post on social media.

“From little things, big dreams grow,” she began.

“After over 20 years, over 35,00km, over 19,000,000 stokes, 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.

“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. 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 Whales 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.”

Following her shock announcement, fans near and far offered their messages of support for Campbell with many congratulating her for an “amazing career”.

“The pleasure was all ours in witnessing your amazing career! Congrats Cate, enjoy retirement and we’ve got a spectacular team you can cheer for!” one fan wrote.

“Congratulations on an amazing career Cate! It’s been inspiring and exciting to race against you, but truly heartwarming to become you friend. Will miss you in call room and around pool deck.”

“True champion inside and out. Watching you thrive has been nothing short of inspiring. Enjoy your retirement and this new chapter in your life,” commented another.

“I’ve loved every minute of this journey. You’re truly a shining star.”

“Once a legend always a legend. What a legacy you have created for future generations.”

Campbell’s Olympic journey began at just 16 years old in 2008, where she qualified fastest in the 50m freestyle semifinals with a time of 24.20. She secured a spot in the final with a time of 24.42, ultimately taking home the bronze medal with a final time of 24.17, behind Germany’s Britta Steffen and Australian teammate Libby Lenton (Trickett).

She secured further medals alongside her teammates in the 4x100m freestyle relays, clinching Olympic titles in London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020, all in world-record times.

In Tokyo, 13 years later, Campbell added to her legacy with gold in the 4x100m medley relay and a bronze in the 100m freestyle, showcasing her excellence in the pool.

-with AAP.

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