The legendary “Iron Lady,” also known as three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Katinka Hozzsu has announced her plans to continue swimming competitively through the 2024 Paris Olympics in an interview with Origo Sport.
“I don’t really feel I’ll have enough of the sport next year,” said Hosszu, referencing the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will mark the fifth Olympics she’s competed in.
Hosszu’s swimming career has by no means been a smooth journey. After winning her first FINA World Championship title in the 400 IM back in 2009, Hosszu believed that the 2012 London Olympics would be her first real chance to become an Olympic champion, as she told NBC Sports. That meet would end in a disappointment for the Hungarian phenom, as she wound up 4th in the 400 IM final, and finished 8th and 9th in her remaining events.
After London, Hosszu critically questioned her future commitment to the sport, unsure if she even wanted to continue swimming. But with the help of her future husband and coach Shane Tusup, Hosszu returned to competition later in that year with an emboldened level of versatility, eventually earning her the nickname of “Iron Lady.”
From that point on, Hosszu intended to fully commit to competing through the next Olympic cycle. Instead of training under the direction of her college coach Dave Salo, her then-boyfriend in Tusup would become her new coach. She later became married to Tusup in 2013, and their professional relationship continued.
Hosszu would go on to win three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, setting a new world record in the 400 IM in the process. In the same year, she and Tusup started their own swim club in Hungary called Iron Aquatics, and their Iron Lady merchandise line was also generating success.
After Rio, Hosszu made a number of out-of-pool splashes. In November of 2016, Hosszu called for the resignation of the President of the Hungarian Swimming Federation, citing issues with the ways the President as well as the Federation itself has treated the athletes – particularly addressing the insufficient amount of support being provided.
In the winter of 2018, Hosszu alongside Tom Shields and Michael Andrew, filed a lawsuit against FINA for breaching anti-trust laws in blocking the International Swimming League’s (ISL) Energy for Swim Meet, which would eventually be cancelled. Hosszu has been incredibly supportive of the ISL, arguing that they “take swimmers seriously, unlike FINA.”
Later in 2018, Hosszu announced that she would no longer be training under her husband Tusup, although she planned on continuing training and competing. Around that time, Hungarian media outlets reported that Hosszu had filed for divorce, on top of testifying against him in court during a wrongful termination suit by a former coach at Iron Aquatics. Hosszu officially filed for divorce in February of 2018.
Despite having been in the international spotlight for quite a long time, Hosszu has continued to find success in the pool. Most recently, Hosszu won six individual events along the first two stops of the 2019 FINA Champions Swim Series. With her recent announcement of wanting to train through 2024, it appears that she’s excited about and confident in her professional trajectory.
Additionally, back in February of this year, Hosszu was named the owner of Team Iron, one of the ISL’s professional swim teams. She’s also started her own swim school in Budapest called the Iron Swim School to further immerse herself in ventures outside of racing.
Hosszu further explained to Origo Sport that: “When I decided to change direction, the world suddenly opened up and the possibilities started to flow in. Continuing to swim while also building a brand and doing the League, school and club wasn’t a conscious decision.”