By Ian Hanson
February 15. ONE of Australian Swimming's biggest names, Samantha Riley, has joined Kieren Perkins, Susie O'Neill and Chris Fylder in retirement.
Riley today announced her retirement from the sport which has seen her become one of the highest profile swimmers in Australia.
Her career spanned over a decade from when she made her first Australian team at the 1991 World Championships in Perth, until the 2000 Telstra Olympic Trials – her last competitive swim.
Along the way Sam Riley won three Olympic medals – one silver (4x100m medley relay, 1996) and two bronze (100m breaststroke, 1992 and 1996); two World long course Championships, two World short course championships and smashed three world records.
She also won four Commonwealth Games gold medals – including three in 1994 in the 100 and 200m breaststroke and the 4x100m medley relay.
In 1996, Samantha was recognized with the OAM in the Queen's Birthday honors list for her committment and dedication to the sport of swimming.
Riley said today: "It's always a sad time when something you love doing comes to an end but I can reflect on a career that has been satisfying and enjoyable.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my swimming teammates, coaches – Scott Volkers and Stephan Widner – sponsors, supporters and my network of family and friends throughout the years who have helped me along the way."
Riley fell ill just a week prior to last year's Telstra 2000 Trials and did not compete at her best but her fighting spirit saw her qualify for both the 100 and 200m breaststroke finals.
She started swimming at the age of seven to assist with her asthma problems and she went on to become one of Australia's most admired swimmers.