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.”
View this post on Instagram
I could not be more excited to be apart of the first ever @leadsportssummit!! I am so proud of everything this summit stands for and am honored to be apart of something so special. I’ll be speaking with and mentoring teenage girl swimmers discussing leadership, empowerment and a whole lot more! Join me Sept 2-4 in Austin, TX and sign up at LEADSportsSummit.com!Thank you so much @karalynnjoyce for letting me be apart of this
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.”