Olympian Jamie Yeung Retires from Swimming With Legacy of Never Giving Up on Dreams, and Giving Back

Photo Courtesy: Jamie Yeung

Jamie Yeung never gave up on her dream of making it to the Olympics.

It was a dream many swimmers share.

But for years, Yeung was so close, only to have that dream dashed.

Yeung never gave up and after graduating from the University of Michigan, kept that dream alive in her native Hong Kong and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

On Friday, she announced her retirement from the sport.

“To swimming, for making me who I am today, for gifting me with the amazing people I’ve met, some of which I call best friends for life, for all the highs lows and in between, and for bringing me around the world, thank you,” Jamie Yeung wrote on social medial. “I will forever treasure the memories. Now I’m really ready to make new ones.”

She had plenty of great memories in the pool in all parts of the world.

“Swimming is so much more than a sport to me,” Jamie Yeung told Swimming World on Friday. “It has taught me life lessons that shapes who I am today. Today my friend asked me, ‘What’s a small decision that turned out to be a big one?’ I immediately thought of swimming, how every small detail, being conscious of changing a bad habit every day, ultimate makes that difference at the end. Yet I would say, the greatest aspect of this sport is really the people. I’ve been able to meet friends who endured the blood sweat and tears, and then the success, together. The connections I’ve made with everyone I’ve met at the pool is precious and opens up many opportunities you wouldn’t even imagine.”



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jamie Yeung 楊珍美 (@jamieyyyyy)

Like her Olympic dreams, which started at the Asian Youth Games and continued through her run at Michigan.

“The three best moments for me were the 2013 Asian Youth Games when I saw my flag rise for a first time. Swimming at Michigan, that was such an amazing time where I grew the most. And lastly making the Tokyo Olympics at the last moment with my friends,” she said.

It took a strong senior year at Michigan, qualifying for NCAAs, and a never-give-up attitude to reach those dreams, qualifying for the Olympics in the final weeks before the Games.

“Coming off a really good senior year, I decided to give everything I’ve got to try to qualify for the Olympics,” Yeung told Swimming World after qualifying. “It started rough because I kind of lost my purpose without the college team to swim for. It took me a while to adjust my mindset being a professional athlete. I had to re-figure out what training I needed, and what I was swimming for. While the pandemic almost got me thinking of retiring, it actually gave me a chance to train back home. I made changes to my lift and swim practices this year in order to find my stroke again. So it is really a dream come true, and a prove that determination hard work really pays off.”

In Tokyo, Yeung competed in the medley relay and the 100 breaststroke.

She used that platform to make a difference in her country. Last year, she was part of an open water relay swim around Hong Kong that raised nearly $1 million for mental health causes and awareness on the island.

Yeung hopes to continue that dream of helping others.

“Even though I’m retiring, doesn’t mean I won’t keep moving and staying active as that’s what makes me physically and mentally,” Jamie Yeung said. “I will keep being around the pool as I currently work at world aquatics. In addition, my teammates and I started a mental wellness platform called ‘Mind the Waves’ to advocate the importance of keeping our minds healthy. Those are my next goals.”

Her dream helped others achieve their own dreams and made a true difference in the world.

That is what swimming, the Olympics and dreams are all about, and will be Yeung’s lasting legacy.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ken ludwig
ken ludwig
1 year ago

Well done, Jamie

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x