Press Release courtesy of USA Diving
The following letter can be attributed to Olympian Abby Johnston regarding her retirement announcement:
“I almost retired at 22. With a silver medal in hand, it seemed like the smartest decision. But my love of the sport kept me from walking away and thus, I embarked on another Olympic quest with new goals and different challenges.
One of my closest diving friends, Kristian Ipsen, and I talked at length about what our legacy in the sport would be. We decided it’s vain to think that we’d be immortalized as diving legends. Soon a new era of divers, who were babies when I was in my prime, will dominate the sport and at best, recognize my name. Others might measure my career based on numbers—national titles, medals, Olympic Games—but that wouldn’t encompass what I am most proud of during my 15 years in the sport.
Today, as I officially trade in my suit for a white doctor’s coat, I am so glad I didn’t retire in 2012, a time that many would consider the pinnacle of my career. For me, it has never been about the accolades. I take pride in the unparalleled friendships, life lessons, and experiences that diving has afforded me. I watched my parents sacrifice their time and finances to benefit my training, even when those resources were limited. I met some of my closest friends who continue to inspire me on a daily basis. I traveled the world and was honored to wear my country’s colors. I studied at a prestigious university thanks to a diving scholarship and will soon become a doctor. Diving has done more for me than I could ever fully describe and it will be impossible to repay my gratitude for those opportunities.
Thank you to USA Diving, my coaches, teammates, friends, and most importantly my family. I wouldn’t be who I am without you cheering for me and believing in me.”