Therese Alshammar Announces Upcoming Retirement

Jan 16, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Therese Alshammar (center) dives in the women's 50 meter free final during the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Six-time Swedish Olympian Therese Alshammar has announced that she will be calling it a career after next week’s Swedish Short Course Championships in Stockholm.

Alshammar told Dagnes Nyheter that she did not know what her future in the sport would be after competing in the Olympic Games in Rio (where she qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 50 free), but recurring back pain helped convince her it was time to move on.

“I would have continued for a further period, but the recurring problems of the body makes it physically impossible to do what I need to do to be at the level I want to be. Then it is no longer as fun and when I feel it’s time to quit,” Alshammar said.

Alshammar has been competing internationally for Sweden since 1993, when she swam at the European Short Course Championships, and she made her World Championships debut a year later in Rome. Alshammar was originally a backstroker but later focused on sprint freestyle and butterfly. She won three Olympic medals in her career, all in 2000—silvers in the 50 and 100 free and a bronze in the 400 free relay. She has won two career long course World titles, in the 50 fly in 2007 and the 50 free in 2011, and eight total medals at that event. She set a world record in the 50 fly in 2009 with a time of 25.07.

Alshammar’s Short Course World Championship résumé includes ten gold medals, three silver and four bronze. She won ten long course European titles and 15 short course European titles in her career. She also competed collegiately for two seasons at the University of Nebraska.

Alshammar took a break from swimming in 2013 as she and boyfriend/coach Johan Wallberg gave birth to a son. But she made a successful comeback to international relevance in time to compete in Rio, where she carried Sweden’s flag in the Opening Ceremony.

Read more about Alshammar’s impending retirement in Dagnes Nyheter by clicking here.

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