Katie Hoff’s Health Issues More Serious Than Originally Thought

Katie Hoff declared today that she would be withdrawing from the US Team headed to Doha, Quatar on December 3-7 for the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

Hoff was on the comeback trail last summer, swimming quite well until US Nationals in August. As we reported at that time, she scratched out of all but her first event at Nationals, attributing it to an “intercostal strain.”

Today, Hoff announced:

“I am disappointed to share that I have decided to withdraw from the SC Worlds team. The opportunity to represent Team USA in international competition is an honor but I do not believe it would be right for me to do so when I am not 100%.

As many of you know, I had to withdraw from my events at US Nationals earlier this summer for what was initially diagnosed as an intercostal strain, but I have since learned that I was dealing with two blood clots in my lungs. As a precaution, I have been advised to avoid international air travel for the time being.

Thankfully, I am on the road to recovery and plan to swim at the Minneapolis Grand Prix this month to see where I am at with my conditioning, and I look forward to swimming a full schedule in 2015.”

In 2008, American swimmer Kristen Heiss famously competed at, and finaled at, the 2008 Olympic Trials, shortly after being released from the hospital with similar blood clots; however, as Hoff alluded to in her statement, blood clots can be of special risk on long flights due to the immobility typically had on an airplane, even for those without any prior health conditions.

Hoff had been nearly back to top form last summer. Many of her times were very close to her best, and she did post new all-time PBs in the 100y back, 100m breast, and 200m breast.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of her best swims from the 2013-14 season vis-à-vis her all-time bests:


2013-14 Season

All-time Personal Best

100y free 50.55 2013 Speedo Winter Championships 11/21/2013 48.70 2009 SCY Nationals 12/3/2009
200y free 1:44.16 2014 Gulliver Last Chance Meet 2/14/2014 1:43.10 2007 NBAC Christmas Invitational 12/7/2007
100y back 54.45 2014 Gulliver Last Chance Meet 2/14/2014 54.45 2014 Gulliver Last Chance Meet 2/14/2014
100y breast 1:01.88 2014 Gulliver Last Chance Meet 2/14/2014 1:01.44 2012 FGC Senior Championships 2/17/2012
200y IM 1:55.91 2014 Gulliver Last Chance Meet 2/14/2014 1:53.77 2007 NBAC Christmas Invitational 12/7/2007
50m free 26.21 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014 25.83 2008 Swimvitational 6/5/2008
100m free 55.79 2014 Summer Nationals 8/6/2014 54.28 2008 Missouri Grand Prix 2/15/2008
200m free 1:58.29 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014 1:55.78 2008 Olympic Games 8/9/2008
100m back 1:02.50 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014 1:01.86 2008 Swimvitational 6/5/2008
100m breast 1:08.60 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014 1:08.60 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014
200m breast 2:28.81 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014 2:28.81 2014 SZS Summer Sectionals 7/10/2014
100m fly 1:00.67 2014 Mesa Grand Prix 4/24/2014 59.45 2008 OSU GP 4/4/2008
200m IM 2:12.05 2014 SFTL International Classic6/19/2014 2:09.71 2008 Olympic Trials 6/29/2008


Short Course Worlds will gather about 900 swimmers from all continents in Doha from December 3-7, 2014. They will contest 46 events (34 individual and 12 relays), for a total 138 medals.

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6 years ago

Tennis player Serena Williams has had similar PE problems, and with careful medical management made a return to top form, including a US Open win this year. Here’s hoping that Hoff’s health problems are similarly manageable and she makes a full and strong recovery.

hoff fan
6 years ago

Best wishes to Katie for a full and complete recovery

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Katie, take time to fully recover and come back stronger.
The important year is 2016. I know you can do it! 🙂

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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