Australian para swimmer, Matthew Cowdrey, surprised almost everyone today when he made it publicly known he will not be pursuing a fourth Paralympic Games. Just 18-months away from Rio, Australia’s greatest ever Paralympian announced his immediate retirement, as reported by the publication “Adelaide Now.”
Cowdrey is the ultimate Aussie Paralympian swimming legend, having won 23 total Olympic medals, including 13 golds, across the Games in Athens, Beijing and London. He also won an astounding 16 world titles between 2006-2013.
Competing with a congenital who amputation of his left arm (it stops just below the elbow), Cowdrey’s signature events were the S9 freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, the SB8 breaststroke and the SM9 IM classifications. He currently holds 14 long course world records and most recently competed at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships where he earned a silver and bronze medal.
16-year-old Australian teammate Rowan Crothers seems ready to accept the passing torch from the 26-year-old retireing swimming, as it was Crothers who thew down the gold medal-winning S9 freestyle world record at last year’s Commonwealth Games, leaving Cowdrey to settle for silver in the race.
Read the Adelaide Now announcement here.