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‘Heart Just Isn’t In It’: Australian Kai Edwards Announces Retirement

23 AUS OW M Kai Edwardsjpg

‘Heart Just Isn’t In It’: Australian Kai Edwards Announces Retirement

Australian Olympic open water swimmer Kai Edwards announced his retirement this week, saying “my heart just isn’t in being a competitive swimmer anymore.”

Edwards posted his decision to Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KAI EDWARDS (@kaiedwards)

From his post:

I have loved being apart of the Australian dolphin swimming team and will cherish the opportunities, memories and friendships the sport has given me. Retiring was a difficult decision but the right one as my heart just isn’t in being a competitive swimmer anymore. I’ve been extremely blessed with the amount of support I’ve received from my friends, family and swimming Australia over the years. I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved and cant wait to start the next chapter in my life

Edwards, 24, is a native of Queensland who swam at Carlile Swim Club. He qualified for the 10-kilometer swim at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing 12th. He also represented Australia at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, finishing 14th in the 10k and fifth in the 25k. He did not qualify for the 2022 World Championships.

Edwards spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald in January about his struggles after the Tokyo Olympics, to get motivated to get back in the water.

“I really struggled after the Olympics with my mental health,” Edwards told the paper. “When my coach Chris Nesbit moved to Carlile, by the time I had got out of quarantine, I didn’t know if I wanted to go back to swimming or not. As I got my head right, the fire in the belly started to come back more and more. I can remember watching nationals and I wasn’t there. I thought, ‘I’ve got to be at the next one’. It got me all fired up.”

Among the comments on his retirement post was this from Olympic gold medalist Gregorio Paltrinieri: “Still the best fighter world of swimming has ever seen.” These days, Edwards is devoting more of his energy to fighting, as in jiu jitsu, having posted about starting competitions in the Brazilian martial art. He called it “therapeutic” in the SMH interview.

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