While chatting with 2012 U.S. Olympian Clark Burckle this afternoon via email, I noticed that he was sporting a new @stanford.edu email address.
Curious about what this meant, Burckle shared that he has been accepted into Stanford’s business school, where he will begin in a month.
“I am really looking forward to going back to school, as strange as that sounds!” Burckle shared.
What does this mean for the swimming career of the 25-year old Burckle, who was the 2010 NCAA Champion in the 200 breaststroke and placed 6th at last year’s Olympic Games in the same race?
“I would love to continue training but for a while it will be school first. I will always be working out and swimming when I can, but competitions and elite level training are going to need to be on the back burner for a bit.”
Burckle also discussed his admiration for the many training groups that use the Palo Alto area as their home base, including Palo Alto – Stanford Aquatics coach Tony Batis.
Burckle’s last meet in this phase of his career, the pre-Stanford phase, was the U.S. Masters Championship last week, where he won the 100 breaststroke (1:01.18), 50 breaststroke (28.29), and 200 breaststroke (2:11.78) for the 25-29 age class in addition to three relay titles. At the World Championship Trials in June, he took 4th in the 200 breaststroke and 5th in the 100 breaststroke.
For now, this is not quite a concrete retirement, but expect the ever-changing and ever-evolving world of American men’s breaststroking to stay wide open headed toward the 2014 Pan Pac Championships (remember that none of the U.S. Olympic breaststrokers were on the World Championship team in 2014).