Four-Time British Paralympian Stephanie Millward Announced Retirement

Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

Four-Time British Paralympian Stephanie Millward Announced Retirement

Stephanie Millward, who qualified for her fourth Paralympic Games in Tokyo, has announced her retirement after more than a decade atop the sport.

Millward, 40, made her debut at the 2008 Paralympics. Though she didn’t medal in Beijing, she set the stage for success by reaching three finals. She would go on to capture 10 medals over the next two Games, including four silvers and a bronze at her home Paralympics in London in 2012.

She ascended to the top step of the podium at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, winning the S8 100-meter breaststroke. She added gold in the 400 medley relay 34 pts. Her first gold medal was the eighth of her Paralympic career.

After winning silver in the SM8 200 individual medley in London, she added silver in the SM9 200 IM in Rio. She also won bronze medals in Rio in the S8 100 and 400 free.

Millward persevered through the added year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She swam four events in the Tokyo Olympics, making the final in the S9 100 back and finishing eighth. The British medley relay finished fourth.

“I have been awarded an MBE and been given the freedom of my local town, Corsham,” Millward said in a British Swimming press release. I” am a patron and ambassador to nine charities, I have met Her Majesty The Queen on five occasions, I’ve met Prime Ministers, MPs and dignitaries and been given the opportunity to speak at school assemblies, sports clubs and present to large companies. It’s all quite difficult to process, but I am honoured, humbled and proud in equal measure.

“Now is the time to celebrate and thank all those that helped me to come to terms with my incurable MS. To Adrian, now my husband, who encouraged me back into a pool in 2008 and who has been my rock ever since. To the coaches and support staff who have enabled me to reach the pinnacle of Paralympic sport. To the National Lottery, UK Sport, ParalympicsGB and British Swimming, and others who provide the opportunity for those of us with a disability to compete.

“To my family, friends, supporters and my special employers for believing in me and not only giving me the opportunity to swim in Tokyo, but to prepare for me this day, my retirement day. Finally, and so importantly, thank you to the wonderful British people who have been so unbelievably supportive of me during my entire career.”

Milward’s list of accomplishments is lengthy. She has four gold medals, six silver and one bronze from the World Championships in 2010 and 2013. She is a 10-time gold medalist at the IPC European Championships, led by a breakout five-gold performance at the 2009 meet in Reykjavik. She has a total of 24 golds, 22 silver and 13 bronze medals in international competition.

Millward, who trained at Bath University, was awarded an MBE for her swimming achievements.

“Stephanie has been a major part of British Para-Swimming teams for well over a decade,” British Para-Swimming head coach Rob Aubry said. “Ever since I began working with her in the South West of England, Stephanie has been a ray of sunshine and a big supporter of the team. More importantly, she was an extremely hard worker. She should be so incredibly proud of her achievements and the hard work and dedication that she has had to show in supporting her swimming career. She will be missed, not only as an athlete in her own right but also for her kind words and constant support for all those around her.”