White Rock swimmer Hilary Caldwell shows off the bronze medal she won in the women’s 200-m backstroke at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She announced her retirement from competitive swimming this week (File photo)

White Rock Olympian announces retirement

Swimmer Hilary Caldwell “kind of excited” for next step, after announcement this week

For weeks, White Rock Olympian Hilary Caldwell has been hinting at retirement, and on Wednesday the swimmer made it official – she’s leaving the pool for good.

The announcement – which was not altogether surprising, considering she spoke of the possibility last month prior to the Commonwealth Games – means the 27-year-old former Pacific Sea Wolves swim club member will, for the first time in years, have a schedule free of training or routine.

“I’m kind of excited,” Caldwell said in a Swimming Canada news release. “I haven’t had a free summer to do whatever I want in about 13 years. I have a lot of friends I owe visits to.”

Caldwell had toyed with the idea of retirement after last years’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, but chose to continue. Just after Christmas, she decided to move to Australia’s Gold Coast to train and Griffith University.

“It’s very unlikely I’ll swim until 2020 (Summer Olympics),” Caldwell last month. “I would say it’s unlikely I’ll swim past April.”

At Commonwealth Games, which were held in Australia, Caldwell finished fifth in her signature event, the 200-m backstroke.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Caldwell won bronze in the same race, and also has a bronze medal in the discipline from the 2013 world championships.

• RELATED: Caldwell captures Olympic bronze

Caldwell said she’d made up her mind before the Commonwealth Games, which meant a mix of emotions upon getting out of the pool for the final time.

“I got out of the pool and the first person gave me a hug,” said Caldwell. “I got quite emotional, a lot more than I thought I would.

“I’m good with it but it’s weird. It has been my whole life, 20-plus years and it’s done. It will be a change, but I think a good one.”

Ryan Mallette, the head coach at Victoria’s High Performance Centre, said Caldwell was fueled by determination and perseverance.

“Hilary was not necessarily the most talented athlete that we ever had but she was definitely the most determined,” said Mallette. “If you set a goal in front of her she was able to pursue that with a vigor no other athlete I ever worked with had.”

Ryan Cochrane, a two-time Olympic medallist who trained for years in Victoria with Caldwell called her “a smart, incredibly quick-witted, passionate woman.”

A few days after the announcement was made official by Swimming Canada, Caldwell wrote an Instagram post thanking her many coaches, teammates, competitors and fans for their support through the years.

“To those of you I met along the way, I’m going to miss the hell out of you,” she continued.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Three dead in South Surrey crash: police

Motorists asked to avoid 32 Avenue between 152 Street and King George

OUR VIEW: Young Surrey athletes stir pride

Better than trophies are the lessons these sports-minded youngsters hopefully carry into adulthood

Arranged-marriage twist on ‘Swan Lake’ ballet returning to Surrey stage

Coastal City Ballet production at Bell PAC in June

Saddle up: Cloverdale Rodeo returns this May long weekend

The 73rd annual rodeo, 131st annual country fair return to Cloverdale Fairgrounds this May

A Surrey Mountie’s tale of reconciling her family’s history with the LGBTQ+ ‘purge’

PART TWO: Cpl. Sturko is spokeswoman of Surrey RCMP after her great uncle was ‘purged’ from the RCMP

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Sailings cancelled after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Most Read