Nielsen’s social media post from today, October 7th, reads, “From today I’m officially retired from swimming. First I want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have been there for me, my coaches, teammates, sponsors, friends and mostly my family ❤️ I’m so thankful for every new friend I have made and memories swimming has given me. Now a whole another life awaits me and I can’t wait to starts this new chapter 😊
Good luck to everyone who is still training for the Olympic 🔥”
Nielsen is one of the most successful Danish swimmers in history, taking her first national title at the age of 14. In the decade since, the backstroke ace has amassed over two dozen elite international swimming medals, highlighted by Olympic bronze in Rio as a member of her nation’s women’s medley relay.
Nielsen’s name is also still etched in history with a European Record in the short course meters women’s medley relay. At the 2014 World Short Course Championships, she teamed up with Rikke Moller-Pedersen, Jeanette Ottesen and Pernille Blume to establish a new ER of 3:48.86.
The Danish Swimming Federation says of Nielsen’s retirement, “Both on the human and sporting level, Mie’s decision is a big loss for Danish national team swimming. As a person and athlete, Mie has always been a fantastic ambassador for Danish swimming both locally, nationally and internationally.
“It has been unique to follow and experience her career, and we have a deep respect for the courage that Mie has repeatedly shown us – and again does by making such a big decision as it is to discontinue her international swimming career. It shows if anything the caliber she is made of.”
Pedersen explains she had planned to take a break after the 2020 Olympic Games to give her injury-plagued shoulder a break. However, she points to the postponement of the Games to 2021, along with ‘great uncertainly that is associated with the delay’, as a reason for her decision now.
“In recent years, I have been through a complicated course of injuries, which at times has resulted in me not being able to train optimally. Recent studies of my shoulder continue to show uncertainty about whether I can get ready for the Olympics next year, which underpins the decision to end my swimming career now.”
Nielsen also says, “My swimming career has given me an unforgettable experience – both personal and results, for which I am very grateful. Many thanks to my club mates, coaches, family, sponsors and the Danish Swimming Union, who have supported me during the ups and downs of my career.
“Swimming has been a central part of my life, and the sport has helped to create structure in my daily life and taught me to work purposefully, which I now look forward to using in my student life.”