Thiago Pereira has announced his retirement, ending the career of one of Brazil’s most-decorated swimmers of all-time.
Pereira will announce his retirement tonight at a party honoring Brazil’s top Olympians. Brazil’s GloboEsporte reports that the 31-year-old Pereira plans to announce his retirement at the event, which takes place Wednesday night in Rio de Janeiro. The party is organized by the Brazilian Olympic committee, per Brazil’s ZH Sports.
Pereira was the Olympic silver medalist in the 400 IM in 2012, beating out Michael Phelps for that spot. He competed in four consecutive Olympics, representing Brazil in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and at the nation’s home Olympics in Rio in 2016. Last summer, Pereira finished 7th in the 200 IM, marking four straight Olympic finals he had qualified for.
Maybe Pereira’s most memorable achievement will be his 23 medals at the Pan American Games, the most of any athlete in any sport in history. 15 of those medals are gold, including 6 each from 2007 and 2011. He won those 23 medals over the course of 12 years and four different Pan Ams events: 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.
An athletics icon in his home country, Pereira was most recently in the news being honored with a life-size statue in his hometown. His retirement at the age of 31 means the international IM fields will open up dramatically for new faces, with Pereira and Phelps now retired after almost two decades apiece of dominating international finals, plus Ryan Lochte suspended for this coming summer and on the wrong side of 30 as well.