2012 Olympians Melissa Ingram and Carl O’Donnell announced their retirements today.
In a press release from New Zealand Swimming Ingram thanked all of the people in her life who helped her achieve the success that she has in the pool, “I’ve been so lucky throughout my career to have been supported by so many amazing people,” said Ingram.
“My family have stuck by me through thick and thin, my parents always ready to reach back into their wallets to pay for another suit or overseas trip in my younger years. My friends and team-mates always had my back and my coaches consistently went the extra mile to help me.”
“Swimming is a hard sport to secure sponsorship for because it doesn’t get a lot of exposure. I’m incredibly grateful to Moyes Panmure car dealership, Speedo swim apparel, and the North Harbour Club for their continued support over the years.”
Ingram’s successes in her career include 44 podium finishes at World Cup events, winning the bronze in the 200 backstroke at the 2004 World Short Course Championships, anchoring the bronze medal winning New Zealand 4 x 200 freestyle relay at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and competing in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
“It’s not a decision that I have made lightly,” Ingram said. “My whole life has been dedicated to swimming, but I know that I have left no stone unturned and I leave the sport with no regrets.
“I always gave 100 percent. It’s been an incredible journey, full of highs and lows, and it’s shaped me into the person I am today.”
During his career O’Donnell collected several national championships and competed at the London Olympics anchoring the men’s 4 x 100 medley relay team.
Swimming New Zealand’s GMO, Mark O’Connor praised both Ingram and O’Donnell, “Both Melissa and Carl have made a real mark on the sport in this country for many years and they can both be proud of what they have achieved both in and out of the pool.”
“Melissa has been on the podium at a world championship and only a few months ago had a number of victories on the FINA World Cup circuit and both have competed at Olympic level.
“Swimming is a true world sport and to succeed in it from New Zealand takes tremendous commitment and dedication. Both Melissa and Carl led the way in this respect and both will no doubt be able to use these attributes to make a successful contribution to this country in whatever paths they follow in the future.”