Every four years a new generation of swimmers are ushered in as an old generation is flushed out. Every day we hear that another swimmer retires. It seems like we have more headed out than we have headed in. Makes you wonder, “Are we headed into a dry spell of swimming superstars?”
Here are a few swimmers that have retired in the last year:
Michael Phelps, Tyler Clary, Inge Dekker, Kosuke Kitajima, Takeshi Matsuda, Natsumi Hoshi, Jessica Hardy, Fran Halsall, Eugene Godsoe, David Plummer, Connor Jaeger, Maya Dirado, Alicia Coutts, Elvis Burrows, Glenn Snyders, Robbie Renwick, Karin Prinsloo, Dylan Bosch, Paul Biedermann, Evgeny Korotyshkin, Roy Burch, Kirsty Coventry, Hanna-Maria Seppala, Giulio Zorzi, George Bovell, Steffen Deibler, Yannick Agnel, Liam Tancock, Bronte Barrett, Brittany MacLean, Melanie Wright, Liz Pelton, Rachel Bootsma, Therese Alshammar, Courtney Weaver, Courtney Bartholomew, and Sebastian Verschuren.
We thought Matt Grevers was retiring. Dana Vollmer is pregnant again. Ryan Lochte is also having a baby.
Is this a normal trend? Seeing as how far professional swimming has come in the last decade, I assume there are far more retirements among swimmers than ever before. Hopefully, this trend continues, as it means that professional swimming continues to grow.
That being said, what’s next for all these elite swimmers? Real estate? Perhaps a sweet marketing job. Maybe something in the financial world. Whatever it is, I hope that swimming does not get kicked to the curb. We see far too many swimmers, across all levels, finish up swimming competitively and never get back in the pool. They stop checking results and fall completely out of the sport.
It’s not unusual when a swimmer retires to fall in a post-Olympic/post-swimming depression. As Mel Stewart said on Chris Ritter’s podcast last year:
“If your career is over, you need to continue to swim, run, lift weights, eat well, and stay healthy.”