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Swimming

5-time Olympic champion Missy Franklin hangs up her goggles

The American swimmer announced her retirement at the age of 23.

Update:
(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 25, 2018  Missy Franklin competes in the Women 100 LC Meter Freestyle during day 1 of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine, California. - Former world and Olympi
HARRY HOWAFP

American swimmer Missy Franklin, a five-time Olympic gold medalist and a world record in the 200-meter backstroke, announced her retirement on Wednesday at the age of 23.

Franklin was one of the stars at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where as a 17-year-old she won the 100 and 200 meters backstroke events. She was also part of two victorious US relay teams.

Shoulder pain

In a letter to Espn, she announced her retirement, citing chronic shoulder pain that she’s been battling for more than two year.

“It took me a long time to say the words, 'I am retiring,” the swimmer wrote. 'A long, long time. But now I'm ready. I'm ready to not be in pain every day. I'm ready to become a wife, one day a mother. I'm ready to continue growing each and every day to be the best person and role model I can be. I'm ready for the rest of my life.'

“This is by no means the end. Rather, I choose to look at this as a new beginning. Swimming has been, and always will be, a big part of my life and I absolutely plan to stay involved in what I feel is the best sport in the world, just in a different way.”

Franklin never managed to improve her personal best times from London; however, she made it to the USA team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she received a gold medal for swimming in the preliminary heat of the 4X200 meter freestyle relay.

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