Olympic Gold Medalist Federica Pellegrini Considering Retirement

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

In a brief interview excerpt that appeared on the Italian website Corriere Dello Sport, Olympic gold medalist and reigning World Champion Federica Pellegrini said that she is considering retiring from competitive swimming.

Saying she is “seriously thinking about leaving swimming,” Pellegrini explained her heart is telling her to stop, while her head is telling her to continue swimming. The recently turned 30-year-old expects to have a final decision soon, saying “By autumn I will decide what to do with my life.”

Pellegrini is the reigning World Champion in the 200 freestyle, memorably running down Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky last summer to take the gold and get her seventh straight World Championship medal in the event. She is the only athlete, male or female, to have won seven straight World Championship medals in the same event. 

However, Pellegrini stated in an interview at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Atlanta that she would be dropping the 200 free from her program to focus on the 100 free and backstroke events, with the intention of having more fun with swimming heading towards the 2020 Olympics.

Most recently, Pellegrini finished fifth in the 100 free at the 2018 European Championships. The Italian star broke onto the scene in 2004, when she won the silver medal in the 200 free as just a 16-year-old. She would go on to win gold in that event at the 2008 Olympic Games, and she is the current world record holder in the event with a 1:52.98 from 2009.

Corriere Dello Sport contributed to the report.

2 Comments

2 comments

    • Chiara Satta

      I think she will retire next year or after the 2020 Olympics games. She is ready to let it go.

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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