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Becky announces retirement

5 February, 2013

Becky Retires from Elite Swimming and Announces Vision for Future

Great Britain's most successful ever swimmer, Becky Adlington, has today announced her retirement from international competition and also set out her vision for her legacy, which she sees as her greatest challenge in swimming.

During a stellar career, Adlington won multiple Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games gold medals. She competed in four Olympic finals, winning two Gold and two Bronze medals in Beijing and London respectively.

She remains the current world record holder in the 800m Freestyle, and undoubtedly the greatest swimmer that Great Britain has ever produced, not to mention one of the most successful female athletes in British Olympic history.

Despite her retirement, her passion for swimming remains undiminished, and she has set out a vision that will prove to be her biggest challenge to date.

Becky says; "I'm very proud of what I have achieved so far, but my journey is not finished yet. My vision is that every child in Britain will be able to swim 25 metres by the time they leave primary school. Being able to swim is such a wonderful life skill, and I see this as my greatest challenge in swimming."

Becky aims to achieve her vision through her 'Becky Adlington's SwimStars' initiative, which she has been working on for the last two years. This will involve establishing her learn to swim programs in leisure centres, hotel pools and school pools across the country.

Becky will soon be a fully qualified Level 1 and 2 swimming teacher, and will instill her key values of respect, friendship, courage and persistence into her teaching programs.

On the news of her retirement, Olympic legends Lord Coe, Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy congratulated Becky on a phenomenal career.

Lord Coe says: "Becky Adlington's unforgettable success in Beijing inspired a generation to get in the pool and swim. Her down to earth personality and remarkable career achievements have made her a national treasure. Becky's vision for the future of grass roots swimming in this country will create a wonderful legacy from one of our greatest Olympians. I have no doubt this vision will be pursued with the same drive, dedication and determination as Becky consistently displayed in the pool."

Michael Phelps comments: "Our paths have crossed many times over the years - at meets and through a shared sponsor. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, she has been a great representative for British Swimming and the sport overall. I congratulate her on a fantastic career and wish her all the best in the future."

Sir Chris Hoy says; "Becky and I have become great friends over the years since the Beijing Olympics. The sheer scale of what she has achieved, not only for herself but also for swimming in this country, is amazing. She's been the standard bearer of her sport for a long time now and I expect that to be the case for many years to come."

Ian Thorpe comments; "Becky has been an invaluable asset to British swimming and has been a huge inspiration to young people taking up the sport. She can look back on her career with huge pride and satisfaction. I'm delighted that she's decided to create her own legacy, establishing swimming as a 'life skill' is such an important crusade."