Two-time Swedish Olympian Jennie Johansson has announced her retirement, saying in an Instagram post on Tuesday that the decision has grown over time. The 29-year old Johansson was the 2015 World Champion in the 50 breaststroke and also swam on Sweden’s silver-medal winning medley relay.
She never won an Olympic medal, but besides the 2 World Championship medals also won 11 European Championship medals – including the 2016 long course title again in the 50 breaststroke. The retirement comes as Johansson was swimming some of the best times of her career. In 2017, she swam a 1:06.30 in the 100 breaststroke to break the Swedish National Record.
The Swedish women’s 400 medley relay finished 5th at the 2017 World Championships with Johansson swimming the breaststroke leg and splitting 1:05.76. That was the 3rd-fastest split in the finals field, behind only American Lilly King and Russian Yulia Efimova. She missed the final in the individual 100, however, swimming a 1:07.93 for 16th place in the semis.
Sweden’s new top breaststroker is 20-year old Sophie Hansson, who swam on Sweden’s prelims medley relay last year as well. Her flat-start best is 1:07.59, and like Johansson, she’s a better 50/100 breaststroker than 200 breaststroker.
“I have come to the decision to finish my swimming career. A decision that has grown over time and it brings a mix of emotions. It is very difficult to leave behind something that has been a huge part of my life for so long. At the same time, it’s a choice that I feel satisfied making and I am very grateful to leave my swimming career behind me, knowing that swimming has formed me to the person that I am today.
As I reflect on my 20-year long swimming career that started in a small country town, I feel privileged to have been able to achieve dreams that I had since I was a kid. To stand atop the medal dais is a feeling that I cannot even begin to describe. Yet for me it is not the medals themselves or the records that I broke that make me the most proud. It is the entire journey in itself.
This journey would never have been possible without all the wonderful people that I’ve met along the way. Training partners, coaches, clubs, support staff, sponsors, competitors, fans and supporters: THANK YOU for supporting me in both good times and in hard times and for making all the hours and energy I put into this sport worthwhile. Thank you for being part of my journey!
To my family, friends and most of all my parents: THANK YOU for making all of this possible. I am so grateful that you will continue to be there as my strongest supporters now that the next chapter begins.
Every journey has its time and it is time for me to leave it to the next generation of swimmers in the pool as I embrace new and exciting pathways.
Once again, thank you! ❤️”