Paralympic Games Gold Medalist Mary Fisher Announces Retirement

Photo Courtesy: Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

New Zealand para-swimmer Mary Fisher announced her retirement today.

The Rio 2016 and London 2012 Paralympic Games gold medallist will be retiring to focus on further adventures.

Fisher’s breakout performance came at the London 2012 Paralympic Games; setting a world record and winning four medals – a gold, two silvers, and a bronze. She then went on to set another world record and win gold in Rio 2016.

Retirement was always on the cards after Fisher admitted in April that she didn’t really feel like she wanted to go faster up and down a pool any more.  “I’m not sure I want it enough – it’s a bit daunting after being the primary thing in your life for so long,”

 She said she was ‘fully content’ with her stellar swimming career. “But being hundredths of a second from a race isn’t enjoyable or satisfying anymore. I thrive on researching each component of a situation, so I’ve taken time in making sure stepping away from racing is the right decision.”

 Fisher’s career began quietly at the age of nine when she first took up competitive swimming, enjoying the independence that the water and sport gave her. She made her international debut in Australia in 2007 and this was followed by a plethora of World and Pan Pacific Championship medals.

Fisher has also followed passions outside of the pool. Fisher is well known in New Zealand for her work as an advocate around disability and environmental issues, and for her support of developing para-swimmers and mentoring of youth with vision impairment and their families.

She is currently a part-time Volunteer and Recreation Coordinator at the New Zealand Blind Foundation.   Distance university study enabled Fisher  to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree supported by a High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Prime Minister’s Scholarship. She is also currently undertaking postgraduate psychology papers and learning Te Reo Māori, enjoys community music and is a regular with the Community Choir in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington.

 “My dream goal as a nine-year-old was to represent New Zealand at the Paralympics,” Fisher said.

“Competing in high performance Para swimming means relentless training which I’ve loved and wholeheartedly committed to.  It also needs immaculate dedication and an internal spark to ensure every decision will have the best performance outcome.  Racing at multiple Games, sharing the highs and lows with teammates and gaining understanding of my mind and body has given me perspective on life that I never expected.”

Malcolm Humm, Paralympics New Zealand’s high performance director, said he is keen to see Fisher continue within para-swimming. “Mary is an incredible person and an amazing Paralympian. We have been working with her for quite some time to support her with this difficult decision and seeking to assist her in looking at what comes next.”

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with New Zealand Para Swimming. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact