KENT, Washington, September 26. ABIDING by the Rule of Threes, American Ariana Kukors has become the third Olympic swimmer to make a retirement announcement this week.
Following in the footsteps of two-time Olympian Megan Jendrick and three-time Olympian James Goddard, Kukors is stepping away from the pool to start a new chapter in her life.
Kukors made the announcement via the Kent Reporter, a newspaper not far from her hometown of Federal Way in Washington, saying “The (London) Olympics were the perfect icing on the cake. I’m very pleased and content with my career. I’m very happy with how everything went and excited to be walking away with great memories and great friends.”
Kukors was one of the biggest headlines to come from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials when she placed second in the 200 IM to make her first Olympic team. Kukors was considered a favorite to make the Olympic team in the 200 IM in 2008, but placed third and missed out on the team by mere hundredths of a second.
She returned with a vengeance in 2009, obliterating the world record in the 200 IM en route to winning the world title with an astonishing 2:06.15. Though she would never approach that time after the polyurethane techsuits were banned in 2010, she continued to represent the United States at the biggest international meets, placing second in the 200 IM at the 2010 Pan Pacific championships and third at the 2011 world championships.
Halfway through the final of the 200 IM at the 2012 Olympic Trials, it appeared that Kukors was going to miss out on Olympic Team selection yet again. Turning third after the breaststroke leg, Kukors managed to sail past Elizabeth Pelton in the final meters of freestyle to place second and earn a trip to London. At the Olympics, Kukors placed fifth in what would be her final major race.
Kukors, 24, fills her days now as director of health inspiration for LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, according to the Kent Reporter. She stays engaged with the sport by running swim clinics in the Seattle area.
“It’s just something that’s important to me,” she said. “I care about kids and want to help them change their lives.”
Full article from Kent Reporter