2008 World Champion James Goddard of Great Britain has announced his retirement from competitive swimming today at 30 years old.
In a series of Tweets, Goddard said (with a bit of cleanup for ‘Twitter syntax’) “Hi People. I would like to announce my retirement from competitive swimming. The time has come to move on and find new adventures in my life. A massive thank you has to go to my mum who I couldn’t have had the career I’ve had without her, and to my coach, [Sean Kelly], who has been an inspiration my whole life.”
“It’s been a roller coaster ride but when I look back it’s been amazing. Thank you to all the teammates I have worked with and have pushed me to new heights. Finally good luck to all British swimmers and British swimming in the future, show the world what we got.”
Goddard got his big breakthrough in 2002 when he qualified for the Commonwealth Games team and won gold in the 200 backstroke. Later in his career, he would focus more heavily on the IM races, including a second Commonwealth Gold in 2010 in Delhi.
Goddard had trained at the Stockport ITC since he was relatively young.
British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss said: “James has been a fantastic servant and ambassador for the sport for so long. He is one of the most talented swimmers that Britain has ever produced and has had a long and wonderful career.”
Goddard steps away from the sport after failing to make the World Championship team. At Britain’s trials, he was just .03 seconds behind Chris Walker-Hebborn for the second spot in the 200 back, having already said that if he failed to qualify for Worlds, he would consider retirement.