3-Time Olympic Medalist Katie Hoff Announces Official Retirement

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Three-time Olympic medalist Katie Hoff just announced her retirement on social media.  The news comes just a day after Katie Ledecky took down Hoff’s long-standing American record in the women’s 1000-yard freestyle.

I have given this a lot of thought and after 1.5 of struggling with the effects of blood clots in my lungs, I have decided to officially retire from the sport of competitive swimming. While this has been an extremely frustrating decision to have to make, I have consulted with my doctor and concluded that retiring is the best choice for my long-term physical and mental health and happiness. Unfortunately, the length of time that the blood clots were undetected has resulted in a buildup of scar tissue that have decreased my lung capacity, which is significant enough to make swimming at the highest level an unrealistic option for me.

I have a lot to be thankful for over the course of my career, it was a dream come true in so many ways. The opportunity to travel the world and represent Team USA at the Olympics and World Championships was truly an honor for me.

Sure, I had my ups and downs, but I will never forget what swimming has given me. I can’t thank my family, coaches, teammates, friends, my agency Octagon, and the entire swimming community enough, who supported me no matter what along the way. My husband, especially, has been my rock of support and empowerment and I am forever grateful.

The next chapter will be an exciting yet challenging one, but I am looking forward to all that lies ahead.

With Love, Katie

Hoff concludes a tremendous career that included an Olympic silver medal in the 400-meter free at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as a bronze in the 400-meter IM and 800-meter free relay in that same meet.  She also collected seven long course world titles spanning three events in 2005 Montreal, 2007 Melbourne and 2011 Shanghai.

She also won four Pan Pac gold medals along with two silvers between the 2006 Victoria and 2010 Irvine events.


Hoff’s career began internationally as a precocious 15-year-old in the shadow of her NBAC training partner – the Greatest of All Time Michael Phelps. Hoff made the 2004 Olympics, but missed out on medals in Athens.  Just a year later in Montreal, she won three long course world titles, including a sweep of the 200 and 400 IMs.

In 2007, she set herself up for some unreal comparisons to Phelps’ chase for 8 golds when she won another trio of long course world titles at the 2007 Melbourne World Championships.  Some questions whether “the female Michael Phelps” might actually be able to win 8 golds faster than Phelps.

Unfortunately for Hoff, she ran into the buzzsaws of Rebecca Adlington and Stephanie Rice in the 400 free and 400 IMs. She also missed the podium in the 200 free even with an American record.

The span of 2009-2012 proved to be difficult for Hoff. Although she won gold as part of the 2010 Pan Pacs 800 free relay and the 2011 Worlds 800 free relay, she was unable to make any significant noise individually.  She also endured a move from NBAC to the ultimately failed super pro group of FAST in Fullerton, Calif., before settling back with her former coach Yetter at T2 Aquatics.

Her final stop after a comeback that began in 2014 was with Hurricane Aquatics.  In August 2015, Hoff married her longtime fiance Todd Anderson, and has been focusing on her health with the former Michigan State fullback.

This is not the first time Swimming World has reported on Hoff’s retirement. In 2013, a misunderstanding between Hoff’s then-coach Paul Yetter and Swimming World led to the unfortunate report that Hoff had retired even though she initially intended on taking a break to focus on school.  The rest of the story is why Hoff has always had a soft spot at Swimming World.

Swimming World posted the report at about the same Hoff lost her phone at the airport prior to boarding a plane.  Hours later, an already stressed Hoff who had to find a phone replacement finally activated her new phone.  Much to her surprise, her phone blew up with good wishes and questions about her retirement.  Hoff quickly contacted Swimming World, and graciously told the full story.  What initially looked like a retirement was just an extended break for her to finish her degree.  She later returned to active swimming as a member of Hurricane Aquatics.

Katie Hoff’s Career in Review Photo Gallery

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Uwe Daßler
8 years ago

Katie was a great swimmer ! Thanks for all !

Dave Hoover
8 years ago

She had a great run but with Katie Ledecky getting better by the day, I’d retire too….

Emily Allanson
8 years ago

Alyssa Andrews

Tony Tapper
Tony Tapper
8 years ago

Best wishes for your future, Katie 🙂
One of the greats!

8 years ago

Best wishes Mrs. Hoff. Everyone who trains on NBAC Meadowbrook looks at your picture on the wall every day. You posted incredible records (world, American, state, and team), many of which still stand. People will chase your times forever. Good luck.

Gail Ann Witzel
8 years ago

Loved every minute watching you! Be proud , be happy, be well!

8 years ago

Too much bad luck you didn’t reserve, Katie. Good luck for the rest of your life!

Bill V.
Bill V.
8 years ago
Reply to  Ottavio

That poor girl. When her heart was in it her head wasn’t. When her head was in it her heart wasn’t. It was excruciating to watch. May the next chapter not include such an exasperating hobby.

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