Sports

One Of The Most Decorated Olympic Swimmers In History Is Retiring 

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Jena Greene Reporter

One of the most decorated Olympic swimmers in history announced her retirement Wednesday.

In a column titled, “In My Own Words: The Next Chapter,” published to ESPN.com, Missy Franklin announced she will be hanging up the swimsuit this year. (RELATED: Brazilian Prosecutors Preparing To Prosecute Ryan Lochte For Gas Station Incident)

“It took me a long time to say the words, ‘I am retiring,'” Franklin writes. “A long, long time. But now I’m ready. I’m ready to not be in pain every day. I’m ready to become a wife, one day a mother. I’m ready to continue growing each and every day to be the best person and role model I can be. I’m ready for the rest of my life.”

In 2016, Franklin was diagnosed with a severe chronic tendonitis of both the rotator cuff and the bicep tendon, which is a painful shoulder condition that, if untreated, makes swimming borderline impossible. Franklin claims she’d been living in unbearable pain and likely had to retire — or go through a long and difficult surgery for only a shot at returning to the pool.

So, two years later, she chose to retire.

“This is by no means the end. Rather, I choose to look at this as a new beginning. Swimming has been, and always will be, a big part of my life and I absolutely plan to stay involved in what I believe is the best sport in the world, just in a different way,” she wrote. “I hope to continue to inspire others to be their best, both in and out of the pool, and I’m truly excited about this next chapter and how my relationship with the sport will continue to change and grow.”

Missy Franklin, 23, rose to stardom during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She won five gold medals in her career and currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke.

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