James Magnussen Officially Retires from Swimming

James Magnussen
Photo Courtesy: Jeff Commings

Two-time world champion James Magnussen has retired from competitive swimming after officially calling time on his career in the pool.

In a career spanning a decade, 28-year-old Magnussen is regarded as one of Australia’s premium sprint freestylers and boasts an illustrious list of achievements to his name – recording the second fastest time over 100m freestyle in a textile suit and amassing 15 medals at major international competitions.

He became a two-time world champion in the Men’s 100m Freestyle after winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2013, in Shanghai and Barcelona respectively. Remarkably, this accomplishment etched his name into the record books becoming the first Australian to win the Men’s 100m Freestyle title.

In 2012 he won silver in the 100m freestyle at the London Olympics, touching .01 behind USA’s Nathan Adrian.

He went on to win four medals at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, including claiming gold in the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Following shoulder surgery in 2015 he returned to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics where he won a bronze medal as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay.

A regular member of the Men’s 4×100 Freestyle and Medley Relays, he won multiple medals including a gold in the 4x100m freestyle at the 2011 World Championships and the 2014 Pan Pacific Games.

Swimming Australia President John Bertrand AO congratulated Magnussen on a wonderful career.

“James has had a magnificent swimming career with multiple world titles to his name and an Olympic silver medal.

“He should be very proud of what he has achieved – very few people in the world have reached these heights in competitive sport.”

Reflecting on his decision to retire, Magnussen said he felt the time was right.

“I have taken the time to make the best decision for myself moving forward and to do that I wanted to make sure I was in the best space mentally and physically before announcing my retirement.

“At 28 years of age I feel I could have swum at another Olympic Games, but with the lofty standards I have held myself to over the years and the high expectations I have, I believe now is the right time to step away from the sport.”

“This has been the ride of my life and something I never even dreamed of being possible as a young kid growing up in Port Macquarie. I have enjoyed every moment and every experience, good or bad, and it has shaped the man that I am today. I have always been proud to stand on the starting blocks representing my family, my friends and my country.There is no greater honour or responsibility.”

Throughout his swimming career Magnussen said he’s made wonderful friends and built strong relationships with many people within the sport.

“Through swimming I have made lifelong friends and created memories that I will treasure forever. The people that I have worked with on a daily basis have been my source of motivation and inspiration,” Magnussen said.

“To my strength coaches, sport scientist, biomechanist, mind coach, dietician, manager, masseuse and physiotherapist, I have always been humbled by the time and effort you have invested in my career. You guys kept me smiling every day and hopefully I reciprocated that!

“To my coaches Mitch and Lach Falvey, Brant Best and Michael Mullens, you have shaped not only the swimmer I am but the man I am. Each of you have been a mentor to me and helped me navigate through the highest highs and lowest lows. I am forever grateful to have had you in my life and I know I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I did without your input.

“Mum and Dad – the journey started with those five am alarms. You gave me every opportunity to succeed and supported me the whole way, I wouldn’t be here without you. I have strived my whole career to make you proud and hopefully when we look back on the journey together, I have been able to do just that.

“Finally, to my girlfriend Rose. Thank you for being there for me through this period. This decision to retire didn’t come easily but you have been there to support me through this tough time. I look forward to our future together with excitement.”

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Swimming Australia. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

2 comments

  1. James Hrivnak

    Time for a new James to take the stage. I wonder who it will be 🤔

  2. Neil Rogers

    London Olympics was a tough lesson but RARELY do you get a second chance at Gold.
    2 World Championships put him down as one the best sprinters this century so he can retire pretty satisfied 🏊🏼‍♂️😎