Margo Geer Calls Time on Swimming Career Ahead of Tokyo Games

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Margo Geer, a longtime stalwart of U.S. National Teams who was vying to make her first Olympic team in Tokyo, declared her retirement Tuesday.

Geer announced her retirement via Instagram as a letter, “to the sport I love.”


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A post shared by Margo Geer (@margo.geer)

From Geer’s post:

“You were my ticket across the world. From North America, to Australia, to Europe, to Asia, to South America, and all the way back home to Milford Center, Ohio, you opened my eyes to a community unlike anything I could have ever imagined.

You ignited something deep inside of me – a competitive fire. One so strong that no disappointment could be too painful, and no success could be too gratifying to extinguish.

To the sport I love more than any other – thank you. I can’t wait to see you in a different light.”

Geer, 28, is the head coach in waiting at the University of Alabama. She garnered that title in late December, when it was announced that Coley Stickels was resigning, with the job waiting for her once her competitive career ended, presumably after a quest for Tokyo. Geer has accelerated that timeline.

Geer has been part of U.S. national teams for a decade, the only omission on her sterling resume an Olympic berth. (The comments on her post, by a who’s who of American swim stars, are a testament to the high esteem in which she’s held.)

Geer is a four-time World Championships medalist, all in relays. She is coming off one of the most decorated meets of her career, the 2019 Pan American Games, in which she won gold in the 100 free and silver in the 50 in addition to three relay golds. She was ranked fourth among American swimmers in that event in 2019, with a top time of 54.04 seconds.

Geer finished 15th in the 100 free and 16th in the 50 free at the 2016 Olympic Trials, which she later described a thoroughly unhappy experience, in part due to a shoulder injury she was battling through. She was 12th in the 100 free and seventh in the 50 free at the 2012 Trials, the latter her only Trials final swim. She also competed in the 2008 Trials at age 16.

A 27-time All-American and three-time NCAA Champion at the University of Arizona, Geer competed for the D.C. Trident in the second season of the International Swimming League in 2020. She graduated from Arizona in 2014 and began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Ohio State in 2016. She later took the same position at Alabama before this latest promotion.

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