Blake Pieroni, Three-Time Olympic Relay Gold Medalist, Announces Retirement

Blake Pieroni; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Blake Pieroni, Three-Time Olympic Relay Gold Medalist, Announces Retirement

Blake Pieroni, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a valuable cog in the American relay depth, announced his retirement Friday.

The 26-year-old made the announced via social media.


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Pieroni won gold in the 400 free relay in Rio in the 2016 Olympics for his prelim swim. Pieroni likewise earned his way into the 400 free relay at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, part of prelims and finals en route to gold. He got gold in the 400 medley for his prelims performance in Tokyo. He also swam in prelims for the 800 free relay that finished fourth.

“I have loved all my years in the sport, the friends I’ve met and the doors that swimming has opened for me,” Pieroni wrote in part. “However, I don’t feel a burning passion to be the very best that I can be. My lifetime goal from when I was young watching @m_phelps00 in Beijing was always to be olympian and I achieved that twice. Thank you to everyone who cheered for me and sent me encouraging messages. I still enjoy the sport and I hope to be around in some capacity in the future.”

Pieroni finished third in the 100 free and seventh in the 200 free at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The native of Indiana started his international career at the World Junior Championships back in 2013. He was a standout at the Indiana University. He swam in all three seasons of the International Swimming League, first with LA Current, then the Toronto Titans.

Pieroni won eight golds and 12 total medals at the World Championships (long- and short-course). Of those, seven golds and 11 medals were relays. His high-water mark individually was the 200 freestyle at the 2018 World Short-Course Championships in Hangzhou, where he won gold from an outside lane after finishing eighth in prelims.

Pieroni has been battling knee injuries the last year. One forced him to cut short his ISL season, and he recently had surgery on the knee.

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