2012 Olympic Champ Yannick Agnel Officially Announces Retirement

French swimming star and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Yannick Agnel has officially announced his retirement from the sport. Agnel had already announced his intent to retire this year even before the 2016 Olympics.

Agnel took to social media today to officialize his retirement. He posted a farewell letter to his Facebook page and linked to the message from his official Twitter account. In the post, Agnel thanks his family, friends and fans while expressing excitement about his future endeavors.

The Facebook post is in Agnel’s native French. You can find it here. Agnel says his stomach is “in knots” as he writes, but also expresses excitement for the next phase of life. “It is time to sail on to other horizons,” he writes, in a rough translation of the French. “Life is full of too many riches and curiosities to confine it to chlorinated water.”

“It has been an immense pride and honor to represent my country through these competitions,” he writes.

Agnel was a nearly unstoppable force in the 200 free for a few years, winning the 2012 Olympic gold as well as the 2013 World Championships title. He was part of France’s run of dominance in the 4×100 free relay, joining that team for gold in 2012 and 2013. Beginning in 2014, though, Agnel’s star faded. He slid to bronze in the 200 free at the 2014 European Championships, withdrew from the 2015 World Championships and then barely scraped his way into the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He remains one of France’s most decorated swimmers internationally. He also still holds the short course 400 meter freestyle world record, which he set at French Nationals in 2012.

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6 years ago

Bob bowman destroyed Agnel

6 years ago

The shoulder took its toll, yes? That was an invasive surgery?

He Gets It Done Again
6 years ago

If you discount the tech suits, the fastest 200 freestyler of all time.

Swimmer A
6 years ago

I was lucky enough to meet him a few years ago. He’s a really nice, humble guy. Loved watching him swim when he was on his game.

6 years ago

You were a great swimmer and an even greater man, Agnel. Good luck with your future endeavors.

6 years ago

Gonna miss Agnel. He seemed like a really genuine guy that couldn’t shake the Yips (and I think a lot of us swimmers can emphasize with that feeling). Good luck with future endeavors.

Reply to  riley
6 years ago

I wish I could “yip” my way to a couple Olympic golds.

Reply to  swimdoc
6 years ago

Agreed, meant no disrespect to Agnel or anyone in that 2012 final…just saying he really lost that swagger after that race. And swimming is a cerebral sport that can be cruel for those like Agnel that aren’t ready to be the hunted as opposed to the hunter

6 years ago

Good luck. As the Australian presenter on official Olympic feed from the 2012 relay said, “And Agnel, what a talent.” He was certainly missed by his countrymen in the relays recently. A (mentally, emotionally) healthy Agnel would have been something to see this year, and would have made that relay even more of a barn-burner.

Reply to  BaldingEagle
6 years ago

How do you decide he was not mentally & emotionally healthy this year? There is nothing wrong & indeed a lot of logic in stoppi g this black line stuff. .I only hope they get out before they go i to Post Traumatic Swimming Disorder where they can never enjoh swimming again .

According to Bobo Yannick is quite the cerebral type . But if you’ve had enough then even a top mind cannot convince the body – or vice versa.

I hope to see him maybe in Tahiti or New Caledonia swimming freely .I have come to think the only reason to have swum all tnose laps is to swim for hours in the clear warm ocean &… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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