Italian Breaststroker Lisa Fissneider Retires from Swimming at 23

23-year old Italian breaststroker Lisa Fissneider has retired from swimming, La Gazzetta in Italy reports. Fissneider had knee surgery this summer, and raced for the first time after the operation in October. In her two meets since, she swam only limited amounts of breaststroke, including a 1:11.05 in the 100 short course meters distance in Immenstadt, Germany. She finished her career with two races in December at the Coppa Brema, where she swam 1:10 in the 100 breaststroke and 2:30 in the 200 in short course meters.

Fissneider was the 2011 World Junior Champion in the 100 long course meter breaststroke, swimming 1:07.71, and also took silver in the 200 breaststroke in 2:26.01. Those times, swum when she was just 16-years old, remained her career bests. She also won gold in the 50 breaststroke at that meet as well.

While she attacked Italian senior National Records as a teenager (she was within .01 of the 50 breaststroke in 2014), and broke a few in short course (1:05.28 in the 100 breaststroke – SCM), she struggled to break through onto senior international rosters. She swam a the 2013 World Championships at 18, but missed out on even a semi-final in the 50 and 100 breastsroke.

Otherwise, she hasn’t made many international rosters. She swam at a diluted 2016 European Championship meet in London, but again missed even qualifying for semi-finals, and was well short of her personal bests (1:10.12 in the 100 breaststroke, for example).

She’s recently spent time travelling and training around the world, including a stint with SwimMAC Carolina Team Elite in the United States, and Madgeburg in Germany. Her home base is in Bolzano, where she’s a student at the University of Bolzano.

Update:

On Monday, Fissneider made the news official with a post on her Instagram account:

Quasi dieci anni fa una ragazzina che amava nuotare si è trovata a crescere da un giorno all’altro: nell’autunno 2009, nella piscina di Riccione, quello che era poco più di un hobby è diventato un lavoro, una ragione di vita. Quella ragazzina aveva scoperto un mondo nuovo: quello dei grandi. Se guardo agli anni che sono trascorsi da allora vedo momenti belli e brutti, alcuni di difficoltà e altri che mi hanno sorpreso. Vedo tante vittorie inaspettate, che hanno reso quegli anni fantastici. Ma vedo anche tanti momenti difficili, dove non ho trovato il giusto affiatamento: malattie ed infortuni hanno ostacolato quella libertà che lo sport riusciva a regalarmi. Sebbene sentissi che questa libertà poco a poco stava diminuendo, la voglia di riprovarci e ritrovare leggerezza non è venuta meno, è questo perché amo questo sport. L' acqua per me è stata come un nascondiglio, un mondo esclusivamente mio, in cui godere di momenti di tranquillità intimi, solo tra me stessa e il mio elemento. Ho cercato di dare sempre il massimo, di allenarmi alla perfezione… e di portare questa perfezione in gara. Sentire l'acqua nelle mani, sotto piedi o avvertirla scorrere sul mio corpo era una sensazione bellissima, quasi magica. La fase di nuotata dove mi divertivo di piú era infatti lo scivolamento: dopo ogni spinta di gambata a rana avevo la sensazione di volare sull'acqua. Oggi dò l’addio a questa prima parte della mia vita, al nuoto come professione, che comunque rimarrà sempre nel mio cuore… Forse continuerò ancora a nuotare e forse faró ancora delle "garette", chissà… Di certo so che sono pronta ad iniziare un nuovo percorso, in quest'anno nuovo, fuori dall'acqua. Ringrazio le mie società , gli allenatori che mi hanno seguito per il supporto e le varie e ampie possibilità di allenamento di cui ho beneficiato, ringrazio le Fiamme Gialle, ringrazio i miei sponsor e i tifosi per il supporto sempre cordiale e apprezzato. Grazie di tutto! Un abbraccio a tutti!! ❤ #goodmemories #greatmoments #sporlife #adventure #ready #newstart #newlife #thanksforthesupport #thankstoall #alwayskeepyoursmile #FISS

A post shared by Lisa Fissneider (@lisafiss) on

A translation to English:

Almost ten years ago, a little girl who loved swimming had to grow up overnight: In Riccione, Fall 2009 this hobby became a job and provided the support to live my life as a competitive swimmer. In that moment the little girl had also discovered a new world; the world of adulthood.

Looking back at the years that have passed, there have been ups and downs; some difficult and some that came as surprises. It was the unexpected victories that I experienced which made all these years worth it. However, I also lived through many difficult moments where I could not find the right balance; illnesses and injuries also affected the happiness that this sport gave me. Even though I felt like this happiness was gradually decreasing, the desire to try and regain that spark did not disappear, which is why I love this sport. Water was like my hiding place, my world, where I could enjoy intimate moments of tranquility, between only myself and the element.

I always tried to give my best, to train towards perfection and reach perfection in the race. To feel the water on the palms of my hands, and the pressure on my feet and body was wonderful, almost magical. The part I enjoyed most was gliding: every stroke gave me the sensation of flying over the water.

Today, I give a farewell to this part of my life, to swimming as a professional, which will always remain in my heart… Maybe I will still continue to swim and perhaps race from time to time, who knows? The only thing I know for sure is that I am ready to start a new path this year, out of the water. I want to thank my club, the coaches who have supported me and the incredible training and racing experiences I took part in. A big thank you to my team the ‘Fiamme Gialle’ as well as my sponsors and fans for their support.

Thank you for everything!

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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