PHOENIX, Arizona, October 10. MILORAD Cavic, who made international headlines in 2008 as the silver medalist in the 100 butterfly at the 2008 Olympics, submitted his retirement papers to FINA earlier today.
“Officially retired,” Cavic wrote on Twitter today. “Its (sic) not about the time you went, but about the time you had. Big thank you to everyone!”
Officially retired.Its not about the time you went,but about the time you had. Big thank you to everyone! twitter.com/Milorad_Cavic/…
— Milorad Cavic (@Milorad_Cavic) October 10, 2012
He also posted a photo of the document he signed to officially end his career … and keep the World Anti-Doping Agency from making those unannounced drug testing calls at any time of the day. Cavic had announced after the 100 butterfly final in London this year that he would be retiring, but today's announcement closes the door on a remarkable career.
Cavic, 28, will be remembered primarily for the 100 fly final in Beijing, where he put Michael Phelps' quest to win eight gold medals in jeopardy. Cavic led the race from the start until the final meter, when Cavic glided into the finish on a long stroke and Phelps took a half stroke to get to the wall one hundredth of a second faster. Phelps won gold medal number seven in Beijing, with Cavic winning the silver, but not before the Serbian swimming federation submitted a protest that was later denied.
Cavic would renew the 100 fly rivalry with Phelps at the 2009 world championships, where Phelps beat Cavic to the wall with a larger margin of victory and set the current world record of 49.82, with Cavic also breaking the 50-second barrier with a 49.95.
Cavic would take a break from the sport in 2010 to treat a back injury that required surgery and time out of the pool. He returned to international competition at the 2011 world championships, but failed to advance to the semifinals of the 100 fly. He returned to the big final of the 100 fly this year at the Olympics, finishing a respectable fourth.
Cavic called himself a “one-trick pony” after that race, alluding to the 100 fly in Beijing. But he's amassed an impressive career in the pool, dating back to his days in California, where he was named Male High School Swimmer of the Year for Swimming World Magazine in 2002. That year, he set two national high school records in the 50 free (19.69) and 100 fly (47.13). He almost made it three that year, coming within .05 of the national mark in the 100 backstroke with a 47.55.
At UC-Berkeley, Cavic contributed to a couple of NCAA record-setting relays, but was never able to capture an individual national title.
Born in Tustin, Calif., to Serbian parents, Cavic elected to compete internationally for Serbia, participating in four Olympiads (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) and four long course world championships (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011).