Three-Time Olympian Julia Hassler of Liechtenstein Calls Time on Career

HASSLER Julia TOR Toronto Titans (TOR) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 7 day 1 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Julia Hassler; Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Three-Time Olympian Julia Hassler of Liechtenstein Calls Time on Career

Julia Hassler, who represented Liechtenstein at the last three Olympics, has retired from swimming.

She made the announcement on Instagram following the final meet of the International Swimming League season with the Toronto Titans.

 

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Hassler wrote in part:

Swimming was always about times and I could mention thousands of times and numbers … but the best thing was making friends all around the world, with whom I shared the same passion and I made countless memories!

Along the way, many people supported me from my country, Liechtenstein Olympic Committee, the swimming federation, coaches, sponsors, club teams, physios, etc … which I am very thankful for.

Hassler, 28, first represented Liechtenstein at the 2012 Olympics in the 400 and 800 freestyles. She swam the 800 at the 2016 Rio Games. In Tokyo last summer, she finished 12th in the 400 free, 15th in the 800 and 16th in the 1,500, unable to make finals in either.

Hassler was one of just three Liechtenstein Olympians in 2012 and 2016 and five in 2020. She was the flagbearer for the tiny European principality at the 2012 closing ceremonies and the opening ceremonies in both 2016 and 2021.

Hassler won a slew of medals at the Games of the Small States of Europe, starting in the 2011 event hosted by Liechtenstein when she won two gold and three silvers as a teenager. In all, she claimed 18 gold medals and 29 total medals over five editions of the meet. Her high-water mark in continental competition was a bronze medal in the 400 free at the 2017 European Short-Course Championships.

Hassler was a big part of the Titans’ growth from its expansion year to 2021. She picked up one win this season, claiming the 400 freestyle in ISL Match 7.

She retires in possession of every Liechtenstein women’s freestyle record from 100 to 1,500 meters, in both long- and short-course (plus the short-course 50) plus the 100 and 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley in both formats. That’s a total of 15 in all.

Again, from Hassler’s retirement letter:

I hope I could inspire some kids and other people along the way and show them that you can also reach your goals when you work hard for your dreams! Also in one of the smallest countries in the world!

Ending my career with the International Swimming League was the best thing I could ask for. For the first time, I felt part of a team and I definitely had the time of my life with the Toronto Titans!

Now, after almost 10 years, I‘m more than happy to move back to Liechtenstein and start a new chapter there.

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