The Week That Was: Olympic Champion Missy Franklin Retires From Competitive Swimming

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The biggest news from one of the last weeks of 2018 was the retirement of Olympic Champion and world record holder Missy Franklin, who announced she would be leaving the sport of competitive swimming at 23-years-old. Read below to see the biggest news and updates from the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Hinsdale District 86 Schools Vote To Eliminate Swimming

USA Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Competitor

This week The Chicago Tribune reported that the Hinsdale District 86 Board in Illinois will be voting to potentially eliminate the girls and boys swim and water polo teams at the Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools. The board will vote on the future of these teams, which also includes the football and marching band, on April 2. The cuts will also be present with a $130 million referendum that will improve accessibility, ventilation, and renovate technology classrooms. You can read more about the potential cuts here.

The Week That Was #4 – Kira Toussaint Tests Positive For Tulobuterol

Toussaint, Kira

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Dutch Olympian Kira Toussaint has tested positive for the banned substance Tulobuterol, according to a post on the athlete’s Instagram page. According to her post, Toussaint was notified about her positive test from FINA on December 7, just before the start of the 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships. The positive test came from a sample on November 2, during the FINA World Cup stop on Beijing. In Toussaint’s statement, she claims innocence and says she did not knowingly ingest the substance. The backstroker claims she takes a similar medication to treat her asthma, and that she is currently investigating how the illegal substance ended up in her system. You can see her full statement here.

The Week That Was #3 – Rutgers Settles With Former Head Coach Petra Martin For $725K

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Rutgers University reached a settlement with former women’s swimming and diving head coach Petra Martin this week. Rutgers had fired Martin in November 2017 after complaints over her leadership style and accusations of Martin shaming athletes over their weight and using abusive language and advising swimmers to stop taking medication prescribed for anxiety and other issues. Rutgers cleared Martin of any misconduct and paid her remaining contract with an additional $200,000 in emotional damages. The University is also required to write a letter of recommendation for Martin and to release a statement publicly exonerating the coach.

The Week That Was #2 – More Than 30 Swimmers Meet In London In Support Of ISL

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

More than 30 of the world’s best swimmers met in London this week for a two-day conference hosted by Konstantin Grigorishin, the CEO of the International Swimming League (ISL). The conference featured experts in law, labor relations, and business development laying out steps to change the landscape of professional swimming. Among those in attendance included Ryan Murphy, Adam Peaty, Sarah Sjostrom, Chad le Clos, and Adam Peaty. Peaty, who has been outspoken about his support the ISL, continued his criticism of FINA this week, publically daring the organization to ban him.

The Week That Was #1 – Olympic Champion Missy Franklin Announces Retirement

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin announced that she is officially retiring from competitive swimming at the age of 23. The two-time Olympian made the announcement with a letter that she wrote for ESPN. Calling it “perhaps the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write,” Franklin detailed the recent struggles she has had in her career, including a disappointing 2016 Rio Olympics and struggles with her mental health and managing recurring shoulder injuries. Franklin will end her career with six Olympic medals, including four golds from the 2012 Olympics, along with 11 World Championship titles and five individual NCAA titles during her two years competing for Cal-Berkeley. You can read more of Franklin’s statement here, and read about the impact her career had on the sport here.