Milorad Cavic Signs Papers; Makes Retirement Official

  26 Braden Keith | October 10th, 2012 | Featured, International, News

Serbian-American swimmer Milorad Cavic today officially signed his papers to notify FINA, the international governing body for swimming, of his retirement. With that, he is pulled out of the drug-testing pool, and ending the career of the 28-year old butterflier.

Cavic retires in parallel to his arch-nemesis Michael Phelps after the London 2012 Summer Olympics, a fitting end to the greatest swimming rivalry of the last 15 years. The two gave us one of the iconic moments in the history of Olympic sport, where a late stroke by Phelps somehow magically found its way to the wall before Cavic’s well-time finished to claim a gold medal in 2008.

The rivalry really heated up after that, as the swimmers rolled on toward Rome and the battle over polyurethane suits heated up. In 2009, Cavic offered to buy Phelps a new suit after growing frustrated at claims that a better quality of suit is the reason that he was even close to Phelps.

But this was just a window of a magnificent and intriguing career. Cavic is a Serbian and American citizen who was born-in and grew up in California and swam collegiately for Mike Bottom at Cal. He is still the 15-16 National Age Group Record holder in the US in the 100 yard fly with a 47.10.

He swam at four different Olympic Games under three different flags. In 2000, at 16, he was DQ’ed in his first Games in the 100 fly while swimming for Yugoslovia. By 2004, it was Serbia & Montenegro, and then finally just an independent Serbia for Beijing and London. He fought through adversity in his career. Facing burnout in 2006 after finishing his final NCAA Championships, he walked away from the sport, but Bottom lured him back to the Race Club, and most recently Club Wolverines. In 2010, a recurring back injury became so bad that he couldn’t stand without excruciating pain, and ended up having surgery.

At his final Olympics, he just missed a medal in his best event, finishing 4th in the 100 fly, but still came back valiantly. He will end his career with one Olympic medal, a World Championship in the 50 fly from 2009, and two European Titles in the 100 fly.

It is now time for the next great swimming rivalry to emerge. Muffat-Schmitt? Adrian-Magnussen?  Van der Burgh-Cordes? There’s no obvious ones, but just like Cavic-Phelps, it’s hard to predict where these things come from. It may be another generation before we see a pair whose matchup excites us as much as these two did.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "Milorad Cavic Signs Papers; Makes Retirement Official"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
3 years 7 months ago

Has Phelps already signed these papers to notify FINA about his retirement?

Richard
3 years 7 months ago

Greatest swimming rivalry of the last 15 years?
What about Hooganband and Thorpe, Phelps vs Lochte?
Popov vs hall jr, Kitajima vs Hansen?

Opinionated
3 years 7 months ago

I agree with three of those pairings, but Gary Hall Jr. was a pretender to the real deal that was Popov.

Swim
3 years 7 months ago

Wow…you are so wrong there. Gary is a legend to the sport and always will be considered one of the greatest of all time.

Benny
3 years 7 months ago

Michael Cavic swam for Nort Thornton at Cal; Bottom was an assistant!

3 years 7 months ago

Incorrect. I was there. Mike Bottom recruited and coached him.

Philip Johnson
3 years 7 months ago

his controversy with Phelps from 08 to 09 made the sport fun to watch & probably pushed Phelps to his WR in Rome. a great swimmer and I hope the best for him.

Never Swim Alone
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing this story. It has been nice to remember and reflect on his incredible swimming career..It sure has been fun watching this young man swim through the years. He has inspired and motivated and left a positive mark on the sport. Sincerely wishing him well in his next adventure.

European
3 years 7 months ago

Van der Burgh-Cordes?Who is Cordes?

Charles Morton, Esq
3 years 7 months ago

My thoughts exactly. One of these is the world record holder and Olympic champion, the other just wrapped up a great junior swimming career. We shall see

jman
3 years 7 months ago

Yes, because sometimes the greatest of junior swimmers does not translate into a great senior swimmer!

Anonymous
3 years 7 months ago

Are you Chas Morton?

Charles Morton, Esq
3 years 7 months ago

No, he is not Chas Morton

Keith
3 years 7 months ago

There’s a certain young Japanese Breaststroker that may eventually be so far ahead that there may not be any rivalry in Men’s breast.

Ole 99
3 years 7 months ago

Next great rivalry… Agnel vs. Yang in the 200 and 400 Free.

Chris DeSantis
3 years 7 months ago

Except that Agnel seems to have dropped the 400 from his program.

Reid
3 years 7 months ago

I’m thinking Yamaguchi-Benson.

Philip Johnson
3 years 7 months ago

If you call an almost two second difference in the 200 a rivalry, than yeah I can’t wait.

Liliana
3 years 7 months ago

Great man, great athlete. Very eloquent and outspoken.

duckduckgoose
3 years 7 months ago

Great swimmer, very good guy. Fare thee well

bobo gigi
3 years 7 months ago

Camille Muffat vs Allison Schmitt, yes it’s already a great rivalry. Cameron van der Burgh vs Akihiro Yamaguchi in the 100 breast it can be very interesting too. Next great battles will also happen between Chase Kalisz and Daiya Seto in the IM races, between Ryan Murphy and Jack Conger on backstroke, and between Katie Ledecky and Becca Mann from the 400 free to the 1500 free.

Philip Johnson
3 years 7 months ago

Adrian and Magnussen could also be a good. if Magnussen gets his head together, he is formidable and pretty much in a league of his own in the 100. if Adrian continues to improve however, we will be seeing some great battles between the two. maybe Agnel has a monster 100 in him? he did swim the fastest relay split in London (although Adrian 46.85 was solo). we shall see..

Jean Michel
3 years 7 months ago

when did Adrian split a 46.85 ??? was that in London on the last relay ?? just wondering . He was damn fit and fast ! Greater swims from him are coming for sure .

Rafael
3 years 7 months ago

I would add easily add Kosuke Hagino for IM.. maybe even he can be a dominant force.

Apart Murphy and Conger, on 2016 Brazil has a 14 year-old (15 on march next year) 58 low back also.. If I recall correct australia also have a backstroker of this caliber at same age..

bobo gigi
3 years 7 months ago

I predict Chad le Clos vs Ian Crocker in the 100 fly in 2016. It would be interesting.

Jean Michel
3 years 7 months ago

Adriand Vs mangussen Vs Agnel will be a great battle soon on 100 free . Cielo doesn’t seem to be a matching those guys anymore . And if a Feigen stepps up to better training , he could be very dangerous too . ledecky surely is the Girl to beat on longer distances now . Who can match with her ?

wpDiscuz

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

Read More »

SwimSwam