Two-time Swiss Olympian Maria Ugolkova Announces Retirement

Maria Ugolkova (photo: Mike Lewis)
Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Two-time Swiss Olympian Maria Ugolkova Announces Retirement

Maria Ugolkova, a two-time Olympian from Switzerland, has announced her retirement from the sport.

Ugolkova made the announcement via social media on New Year’s Eve.


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The 33-year-old was born in Moscow but moved to Switzerland, settling in Zurich and swimming for Swimming Club Uster Wallisellen.

Ugolkova blossomed relatively late in her career, hitting her highs in her late 20s and early 30s. Her biggest medal came at the 2018 European Championships when she claimed bronze in the 200 individual medley. She finished within seven tenths of gold-winner Katinka Hosszu (the last of the Hungarian’s five consecutive golds in the event) and .02 ahead of Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor to get on the podium.

Ugolkova also won consecutive silver medals in the 200 IM at the European Short-Course Championships, in 2019 and 2021. She was behind Hosszu and Anastasia Gorbenko, respectively, in those meets.

Ugolkova made her Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio, where she placed 19th in the 200 IM and 23rd in the 100 freestyle. She just missed out on the final of the 200 IM in Tokyo in 2021, finishing ninth in semis (she had been fifth out of prelims). She also placed 26th in the 100 free.

Just before her 33rd birthday, Ugolkova was one of three Swiss female swimmers to represent the nation at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Her best result was ninth in the 200 IM. She finished sixth in the 200 IM, eighth in the 100 free, ninth in the 100 fly and 16th in the 50 fly at Euros later in the summer.

Ugolkova retires with Swiss long-course records in the 200 free, 100 fly and 200 IM, plus legs on all three women’s relays and both mixed relays. In short-course, she holds the 200 free and 200 back to go with 100/200 free and all three IM marks.

She swam in all three seasons of the International Swimming League, representing Team Iron.

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