12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin says that she’s probably done competing at World Championships and Olympic Games.
In an interview with NBC, Coughlin echoed her comments after missing the Olympic Team this summer, saying that she doesn’t feel the need to say she’s retired. Last week, however, she was more specific than she’d been in the past.
“I don’t see myself competing for the national team again…I think that part is in my past, which I’m happy about and grateful. I don’t see myself trying to go to a world championships or an Olympic team again, but at the same time you never know.”
Coughlin worked the NBC Sports broadcast of last weekend’s Arena Pro Swim Series meet in Indianapolis.
If this truly is the end of Coughlin’s major international career at 34, it goes down as one of the best that swimming has ever seen. She has won 60 major international medals, including 12 at the Olympics. That ties her with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson for the most Olympic medals by a female swimmer of any nationality.
What’s most astonishing about those 12 medals is that they were won in her first 12 events. Through the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics, she won a medal in each of the 12 events she entered.
She will also forever hold a place in history as the first woman to ever swim the 100 long course meter backstroke in under a minute, which she did at just 19 years old.