Australia’s 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton has today retired from swimming, in the same graceful, humble manner in which he swam, with the aplomb that goes hand in hand with the great Olympic champions.
The 27-year-old posting “(I’m) grateful for all I’ve experienced, and even more so for those who’ve stood alongside me and made it possible. I wouldn’t change a moment. Thank you, swimming. Thank you, Australia.”
Saying there are no regrets…”Only that the years went so quickly….Swimming has been my life … and it’s the friends and relationships I’ve made that trump any gold medal.
“There are many people to thank … my parents firstly, 5am training sessions are brutal for the whole family, my coaches Craig Jackson and Michael Bohl, (my wife) Ella, my friends who have supported me along the way and my Dolphins’ teammates.
“I dearly wanted to swim in Paris, but the hunger wasn’t there. I always want to give my all and I am not someone who just wants to make up the numbers, so this is the right time to step away.
“I have felt so privileged to represent Australia and wear the green and gold … I just hope Australia thinks I did them proud.
“I am so grateful for my time in swimming and in regard to legacy, I hope my teammates and the sport think that I was able to help them and the sport in some way.
“And I hope they just remember me as Mack.”
And as the man who stood up for his beliefs and the brave decision to stand down from the 2019 World Championship awards podium in the 400m freestyle after winning silver behind controversial 2012 Chinese gold medallist Sun Yang, who Horton beaten in Rio.
And refusing to shake Sun’s hand.
In February 2020, Sun Yang was issued an eight-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for tampering with the doping control process.
At 27 Horton has much to celebrate and much to be proud of – the man who held his nerve and self-belief to snatch that Rio gold by 0.13 and to join Murray Rose (1956, 1960), Brad Cooper (1972) and Ian Thorpe (2000, 2004) as the fourth Australian to win the 400m freestyle.
More to follow