SEATTLE, Washington, September 24. TWO-time Olympic gold medalist Megan Jendrick has retired, according to a post on her ACQUA Swim Clinics web site. Jendrick, who won her Olympic gold medals as the youngest medalist on the U.S. team at the 2000 Sydney Games, finishes her career with three Olympic medals (silver in 2008) as well as having set multiple world, American and FINA Masters world records.
“The last 21 years of my life have been incredible,” Jendrick said in her statement. “I have traveled and competed around the world, seeing places along the way that I never could have imagined visiting. I have participated and earned medals in two Olympic games, received fan mail in dozens of languages and have been able to take whatever notoriety I have earned and use it to speak toward a number of health and fitness initiatives for which I am truly passionate about. I have been able to do all of these things because of the sport of swimming and I am truly grateful for all of it. I have always been one to set goals for what I wish to achieve and after realizing that I have reached all of the goals I set for myself in the sport, I have decided to officially retire as an active athlete on the national level to pursue new goals that I have set for myself on the “dry side.””
In 2000, then Megan Quann became the young poster child for American swimming with her victory in the 100-meter breaststroke in Sydney as well as her gold as part of the 400-meter medley relay at just 16 years old. She then went on a media whirlwind tour that included stops on late night talkers such at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The following year, she helped Team USA to a silver medal at the 2001 Fukuoka World Championships before having a bit of a medal drought until returning back to the international podium in 2005 with one of her top overall meets at the 2005 Izmir World University Games, where she took home three gold medals. There, she won the 50 and 100-meter breaststroke events as well as helped Team USA to gold in the 400-meter medley relay.
Izmir marked her career resurgence as she then won silver in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2006 Pan Pacific Games in Victoria, and silver in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne.
Jendrick then captured silver as part of the 400-meter medley relay at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and finished in fifth individually in the 100-meter breaststroke as she had to fight through the controversy surrounding women’s breaststroke surrounding Team USA following Jessica Hardy’s positive drug test for clenbuterol.
Notably, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jendrick became just the third person to win Olympic swimming medals with two separate names as she’d married husband Nathan Jendrick in 2004. Eleanor Garatti (Saville) first did it in 1928 and 1932, while Libby Lenton (Trickett) then did it in 2004 and 2008.
Jendrick had planned on refocusing to make a run at the 2012 London Olympics, but a new stage in her life took hold in 2011 when the Jendricks welcomed their son Daethan to this world.
Earlier this month, having made the decision to move on from competitive swimming, she took a position as the Site Supervisor at the Fife Swim Center in Washington. Additionally, she and husband Nathan continue to grow their ACQUA Swim Events clinic business that regularly features Olympians working with clinic attendees.
This isn’t likely the last time we’ll see Jendrick competing, as she’s always been a huge supporter of the Masters swimming movement, having set Masters world records on seven occasions.