Olympic Medalist Katie Hoff Announces Retirement

Three-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder Katie Hoff has officially announced her retirement via social media.

The 26-year-old Hoff posted a statement to her social media accounts Monday afternoon explaining her decision to retire from the sport after two Olympic appearances that netted her one silver and two bronze medals.

I have given this a lot of thought and after 1.5 of struggling with the effects of blood clots in my lungs, I have decided to officially retire from the sport of competitive swimming. While this has been an extremely frustrating decision to have to make, I have consulted with my doctor and concluded that retiring is the best choice for my long-term physical and mental health and happiness. Unfortunately, the length of time that the blood clots were undetected has resulted in a buildup of scar tissue that have decreased my lung capacity, which is significant enough to make swimming at the highest level an unrealistic option for me.

I have a lot to be thankful for over the course of my career, it was a dream come true in so many ways. The opportunity to travel the world and represent Team USA at the Olympics and World Championships was truly an honor for me. Sure, I had my ups and downs, but I will never forget what swimming has given me. I can’t thank my family, coaches, teammates, friends, my agency Octagon, and the entire swimming community enough, who supported me no matter what along the way. My husband, especially, has been my rock of support and empowerment and I am forever grateful.
The next chapter will be an exciting yet challenging one, but I am looking forward to all that lies ahead. ?With Love, Katie

Hoff competed for Team USA at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, but took an extended break from competition in 2013 after missing the U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 London Games.

Hoff began training again at the University of Miami and made her return to competition in 2014. Her comeback effort started very strong, but health problems derailed her past two summer seasons. In 2014, she was forced to scratch out of both U.S. Summer Nationals and the Short Course World Championships due to blood clots in her lungs that made air travel dangerous and difficult.

This past summer, Hoff had surgery for an enlarged gland in her chest, taking her out of commission for U.S. Nationals once again.

In her career comeback, Hoff had put up some of the nation’s fastest times in-season, and looked like a contender for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team had health issues not gotten in the way.

In her statement, Hoff expressed excitement at the next stage of life. The 26-year-old was married over the summer to husband Todd Anderson.

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7 years ago

Swam with Katie in high school. She is without a doubt the hardest working athlete I’ve ever known. That’s in and out of the pool. Most of the men on our team were several years older than her, taller and it would seem stronger. Yet, every practice she would kick our butts and push us to go harder. Her drive and sense of urgency was truly inspiring.

cynthia curran
8 years ago

Well, Katie Hoff like Shirley Babashoff needs more recognition. Its hard to win multiple events at nationals. The gold medal at the Olympics is not everything.

David Berkoff
8 years ago

The end of a swimming career for any elite athlete is a very difficult time. But its also a time of freedom to pursue other interests with the vigor and confidence unknown to most. Good luck Katie and have no regrets.

8 years ago

Been a swim fan my whole life, and I can’t think of another athlete that I wanted to see do well more than Katie. Always rooting for her, no matter what.

Tom from Chicago
8 years ago

Katie has always been awesome. I don’t feel sorry for her because she had a Hall of Fame career and a great life. Anyone would be lucky to have had her career.

bad anon
8 years ago

Think the 400IM in Beijing was a huge confidence knock and being edged by Becky Adlington by 0.07 in Beijing was a nasty psychological blow. she never fully recovered from that and things were never the same. fans were rather unappreciative of her Beijing performance ; kindly post 400m IM full length video from Beijing and 400freestyle from beijing too. she raced tough and gutsy. Good luck in her future endeavors

Steve-O Nolan
Reply to  bad anon
8 years ago

That race was one of the biggest gut-punches I’d ever seen.

But overall a fantastic career and she should really be incredibly proud of all she accomplished in the sport.

8 years ago

I meant “four,” not “for” perfect strokes.

8 years ago

Katie was a tough customer, winning both IM’s at two different World Championships, and seemingly doing it on guts and conditioning rather than thanks to any monstrous physical talent or for perfect strokes. (And even with monstrous talent, setting a WR in the 400 IM takes incredible toughness anyway.)

Congratulations to her on an spectacular career.

Reply to  swimhistorian
8 years ago

Four, not “for” perfect strokes.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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