120 Attend Retirement Ceremony for German Great Thomas Lurz

About 120 children, women and men attended a retirement ceremony and final race for German Thomas Lurz, the most decorated open water swimmer of all-time, on a 2 km distance swim in the German river Main on Sunday.

Lurz retired from competitive swimming in May 2015. During his career, he won 27 German titles, five golds at European Championships, twelve World titles and a bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, followed by a silver in the same event, the 10 km, at the London Olympics in 2012. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me. Swimming is a school of life. You compete, you doubt, you torture yourself – and you are always going back to the pool.” he said in an interview with the German publication Main Post in May 2015.

The farewell swim took place in his hometown Würzburg where he competed for the German swim club SV 05 Würzburg during his career. On a hot summer day, the swimmers had to swim about two kilometers with the flow and of course the 35 year old Lurz finished first after about 20 minutes. “I swim still an hour every morning, this route was not a problem. In addition, you will be carried by the flow, “said the 35-year-old, who was taken from his mother and his young son Felix in reception at the finish line.

The swimmers were accompanied by six boats of the DLRG (German Lifesaving Society) “It was very pleasant and fun,” said Thomas Lurz in the Main Post. He can recommend swimming in the river Main to good swimmers but: “I would not swim alone, only in a group. One must not underestimate the swimming in river with the ships and the flow. ”

During his long career, Lurz raced about 100 kilometers per year at competitions and about 3500 km in practice. Since his first participation at a World Championships in the Japanese Fukuoka in 2001, Thomas Lurz swam approximately 47500 training kilometers. More than once around the world. He was awarded the “Silberne Lorbeerblatt” – the Silver Laurel Leaf, the highest award that an athlete can get in Germany and he has been elected six times “Open Water World Swimmer of the Year”. These are a few numbers of an athlete’s life, a swimmer who said that he only has swum for one reason – to win.

In his private life, he is a qualified social worker and has a son with his partner Renate. He now has arrived on shore and he looks to his new, second life after swimming: “The past was awesome but now the future is more important for me.” he stated. Lurz is a sports ambassador for the German fashion company  “S.Oliver” and he has a nationwide name with his lectures on motivation in Germany. He wants to expand both – his discipline, his ambition should help him to succeed: “In swimming I wanted to be the best in the world for 20 years – I can’t imagine to work in a profession in which it does not matter whether I’m there or not.”

Thomas Lurz always sets his goals high – including one of his personal ambitions: To climb the Mount Everest.

Career highlights:

Olympic Games

  • London 2012 – silver in the 10K
  • Beijing 2008 – bronze in the 10K

FINA World Championships

  • Barcelona 2013 – gold in 25K and team 5K, silver in 10K, bronze in 5K
  • Shanghai 2011 – gold in 5K, silver in 10K, bronze in team 5K
  • Rome 2009 – gold in 5K, gold in 10K
  • Melbourne 2007 – gold in 5K, silver in 10K
  • Montréal 2005 – gold in 5K, silver in 10K

World Open Water Championships

  • Roberval 2010 – gold in 5K
  • Seville 2008 – gold in 5K, bronze in 10K
  • Naples 2006 – gold in 5K and 10K
  • Dubai 2004 – gold in 10K
  • Sharm el-Sheikh 2002 – bronze in 5K

European Championships

  • Berlin 2014 – silver in 10K, bronze in 5K, bronze in team 5K
  • Budapest 2010 – gold in 10K
  • Dubrovnik 2008 – gold in 10K, bronze in 5K, bronze in team 5K
  • Budapest 2006 – gold in 5K and 10K
  • Berlin 2002 – silver in 5K

World University Games

  • Izmir2005 – silver in 1500m free

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masters swimmer
6 years ago

Thanks for posting this article. When Lurz won a medal in all 4 events at the 2013 Barcelona world championships, I felt that was one of the greatest meet performances in swimming history. Truly one of the great champions of swimming.

Best wishes in retirement.

Swimmer A
6 years ago

Just curious, what was his 1500 time? I would have loved to see how he’d fair in international competition when he started heating up later on in his career.

Reply to  Swimmer A
6 years ago

15:00.90 from June 2008. Berlin. Germin championships.

Reply to  marley09
6 years ago

oooops. German.

Swimmer A
Reply to  marley09
6 years ago

Thanks Marley09