Olympic Champion Trickett retires
3 July 2013
SWIMMING: Triple Olympian and multiple world champion Libby Trickett has today announced her retirement from competitive swimming.
One of the most decorated female swimmers of the modern era, the 28-year-old was a member of the women’s gold medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay team at the London Olympics last year, but has struggled to return to the pool ever since due to a wrist injury.
In a remarkable career spanning more than a decade at the top, Trickett won four Olympic gold medals over three Games – Athens, Beijing and London - and a total of 17 gold overall, across four World Championships and one Commonwealth Games.
Since making her first junior Australian Swim Team in 2002, as an unassuming 17-year-old, Trickett (nee Lenton) soon developed into a dominant force on the Australian Swim Team. Her first major international medal came a decade ago in 2003 at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona where she won bronze in the 50m freestyle.
Just a year later she got her first taste of Olympic gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics when she combined with Jodie Henry, Alice Mills and Petria Thomas to take top spot in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Then came the gold rush, when at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Championships, both in Melbourne, Trickett won a combined total of 13 gold medals.
Her dream of individual Olympic gold soon followed, in Beijing 2008, where she won the 100m butterfly in a Commonwealth record time and then teamed up with Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones and Jessicah Schipper to win gold in the 4x100m medley relay.
The Queenslander is also a multiple world record holder, with her time of 51.01 in the 100m freestyle short course from 2009, still standing.
Following a brief retirement at the end of 2009, Trickett made the decision to comeback to competitive swimming in September 2010 and her dedication and passion for the sport saw her qualify for her third Olympic Games.
Speaking about leaving the sport again, Trickett said she finally felt comfortable with her decision to move on to the next stage in her life and career.
“There will always be a tinge of sadness to leave the sport that I love, but I have wonderful memories and experiences to draw upon in the future. I feel at peace with my decision and most importantly I feel that I am finally ready to take on the next adventure in my life," Trickett said.
Through swimming Trickett also met her husband Luke and the Queenslander said that all of the opportunities and memories gained through swimming remain very close to her heart.
"I'm so grateful to swimming for all that it has given me in my life. Not only have I been able to travel the world, training and competing, making some wonderful friends, but I've also had the opportunity to work with some of the best people in their field which I feel very lucky to have done so. Swimming has even given me a husband!” Trickett said.
“I have a few people that I would like to specially thank, starting with all of my coaches and most particularly Stephan (Widmer) because together we were able to climb mountains and achieve every dream I ever could have had in my swimming.
“I would like to thank everyone at Speedo for all of their support, my mum, all of my family and my closest friends and finally, and most importantly the biggest thank you goes to my husband Luke.” Trickett said.
She will leave the sport with 14 national long course titles and ranked number one on the Australian all-time top ten for both the 50 and 100m freestyle and is one of only two swimmers in Australia, to go sub-53-seonds in the 100m freestyle long course.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said Trickett’s success over the years is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport.
“Libby’s performances and success across three Olympics and the Commonwealth Games demonstrate her quality as both an athlete and competitor,” said Anderson.
“In addition to her many achievements in the pool, Libby will be remembered by all Australians as a great ambassador for our sport and our country. We wish her continued success in the next phase of her life.”
Swimming Australia Director of High Performance Michael Scott said Trickett’s contribution to the Australian Swim team over the years has been outstanding.
“Libby’s legacy and success at both a national and international level, as well as her dedication to the sport is something the next generation of swimmers can aspire to,” Scott said.
Trickett will now switch focus on the next chapter of her life with her family and to pursue a career in the media with Network Ten.
"I'm thrilled that I will get to work on Channel 10's exciting new program, Australia's Greatest Athlete. I'm looking forward to the challenge, fun and craziness that this next phase has in store for me and working in television has always been a dream of mine so I feel very blessed to have this opportunity."