By Rebecca Noblett
AUSTIN, Texas, January 2. TWO-time Olympic gold medalist Ricky Berens recently spoke with Swimming World about his decision to retire from the sport, as well as some of the specifics about what the future holds for the Longhorns.
Shortly after the 2012 London Olympics, where he won a gold medal as part of the 800 free relay for Team USA as well as silver in the 400 free relay, Berens had called it a career. That retirement only lasted seven weeks before he decided to give it another go in 2013.
“I have been blessed with an incredible career and I had an incredible summer to top it all off,” Berens told Swimming World about his decision to close the curtains on his career. “I was close to retiring after 2012 but stayed another year and it was the most fun I’ve ever had. I am just so content with my career and I’m ready to for the next challenge and adventure in life.”
Berens is now part of the development office at his alma mater — the University of Texas. And, just like he progressed as a swimmer through hard work and determination, Berens’ is excited to use those same qualities to help Texas continue to grow. Berens also has big dreams in terms of where he wants to be at the close of his athletics career.
“I’m extremely excited to be back here in Austin and especially be back involved with the athletic department here,” Berens said. “Going to school here, it’s hard to leave. I have so much ‘family’ and friends here that it feels like home. I’m a development assistant for the Longhorn Foundation and T-Association. Right now, I’m in a position where I am able to learn all the fundraising and what goes on behind the scenes to run a college athletic department. My goal is to one day be in college administration with an ultimate goal of being an athletics director.”
Berens has had quite a few top moments in his career, and while many might pick out his multiple-medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics, Berens isn’t quite ready to pick that as his top moment. He’s also incredibly proud of his NCAA team championship for Texas his senior year.
“I can’t pick just one moment, there have been so many,” Berens said. “Making my first Olympic team, winning an Olympic gold medal, winning a NCAA team championship my senior year. All of these things have made my career an unbelievable ride.”
While Berens is truly excited about his future, he’s still going to miss a lot about training and competing in the sport.
“I’ll miss morning practice the least! I know that for sure!” Berens said. “I will miss my teammates the most. We always had so much fun on our training camps and international meets. I still keep in touch with almost all of them, but will definitely miss being at those meets with those teams.”