Olympic Finalist Luis Martinez Announces Retirement from Swimming

Luis Martinez-23628606903
Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo

Olympic Finalist Luis Martinez Announces Retirement from Swimming

Luis Martinez, the Guatemalan swimmer who made the final of the men’s 100 butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics, announced his retirement this week.

Martinez made the announcement via social media.

Martinez wrote in part:

“After many months of change I have decided that I will retire from competitive swimming. This is not a sad moment but a happy one in which I left in good terms everything that gave me joy for so many years. Things just change, and this time they change for the better.”

Martinez, 26, represented his country at two Olympics. His top individual achievement was a silver medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, in his signature event. He set a Pan Am Games record of 51.44 seconds in prelims before finishing just .04 behind American Tom Shields in the final in 51.63.

He won a gold medal and three silvers at the Central American and Caribbean Games and six golds (seven total medals) at the 2017 Central American Games.

Martinez was a three-time All-American at Auburn University after his collegiate swimming career began at Missouri S&T. He remained at Auburn for much of his postgraduate training. He also won a Toyota U.S. Open title in the 100 fly in 2019.

The capstone performance of Martinez’s career came in Tokyo. He snuck into the final of the men’s 100 fly by .02 seconds, then went even quicker in the final to finish seventh. His time of 51.09 reset the national record he had held for most the last decade.

“I was speechless,” Martinez said in Tokyo. “I was unbelievably emotional. It was all these things that were coming from the inside that finally registered, so I was really happy. I feel extremely happy and extremely blessed to be what I am.”

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