Olympic Gold Medalist Bowe Becker Announces Retirement

Bowe Becker; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Olympic Gold Medalist Bowe Becker Announces Retirement

Bowe Becker, an Olympic gold medalist from the 400 freestyle relay in Tokyo, announced his retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

Becker made the announcement on social media.


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A post shared by Bowe Becker (@bowe_becker)

Becker wrote, in part:

After a lot of thinking and evaluating this past year, I have decided it is time for me to retire from the sport of swimming. This was not an easy decision to make, but I know it’s what is best for me. I have been swimming since I was 11 years old and not by choice. For years, it was just to stay healthy because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, but it became more than that. I was good at it and I loved athletics. The friendships and work ethic I have gained because of this sport was worth all the hard work.

The native of Las Vegas had an unlikely path to a gold medal, as he alluded to in his farewell. He was an excellent swimmer at the University of Minnesota, finishing third at NCAAs in the 50 freestyle in 2018 and second in the 100 free in 2019. But he retired from the sport for six months in 2020, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against many odds, he returned better than ever. He finished fifth at U.S. Olympic Trials in the men’s 100 free in 48.22 to book his relay spot. (He was also fourth in the 50 free.) In Tokyo, his prelims leg of 47.59 earned him a shot to swim in finals. He sped up to 47.44 on the third leg, helping the American squad ease to gold in 3:08.97.

Becker swam in the International Swimming League in 2020 with the Cali Condors – he specifically thanks Condors’ general manager Jason Lezak in his farewell post – and with the Tokyo Frog Kings in 2021. Becker served as a volunteer assistant coach at Minnesota last year.

“I proved to a lot of people I was a force to be reckoned with,” Becker wrote in his post. “Not too many people believed I could make it to the Olympics and yet there I was, standing on an Olympic podium at the end with a GOLD MEDAL in my hand. I’m excited and nervous for the next stage in life but I am ready!”

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robert kravutske
8 months ago

you will have that glory and gold for the rest of your life……..enjoy……you did it……..walk the walk!!!!!