Olympic Silver Medalist Erica Sullivan Announces Retirement

by Laura Rosado 29

June 19th, 2024 Big 12, College, National, News

Erica Sullivan announced her retirement on Wednesday night after the conclusion of the final of the women’s 1500 freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where she placed 7th.

Sullivan hinted on Instagram that retirement was on the horizon after competing at NCAAs, where she contributed to the Texas women’s third consecutive runner-up finish. There, she recorded a 6th-place finish in the 1650 freestyle for her third straight All-American honor in the event.


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A post shared by Erica Sullivan (@erica.sully)

Sullivan is from Las Vegas, Nevada and spent her club swimming career with the Sandpipers of Nevada, where she enjoyed success in the distance events as well as open water. She initially committed to swim for the University of Southern California, but following a coaching overhaul, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the loss of her father to cancer, ended up decommitting and re-entering the recruiting pool.

Before arriving at Texas in 2021, Sullivan continued to train and qualified for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where she earned silver in the 1500 free. She set her best time in that final, clocking 15:41.41 behind American teammate Katie Ledecky. That time makes Sullivan the fifth fastest performer of all-time, and the second fastest American woman. It was the first year the women’s 1500 free was contested at the Olympic Games.

Sullivan other international experience comes from the 2019 World Championships where she competed in the 25km open water event.

Her best NCAA performance came in the 2021-2022 season, her first year with the Longhorns. In that season, she placed 2nd in the 1650 free and 3rd in the 500 free, scoring 33 points.

Sullivan still has one year left of at Texas, though she’s exhausted her NCAA eligibility. She majors in Radio-Television Film and aspires to be a film director.

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1 month ago

I thought Erica Sullivan swam three years at the University of Texas. Wouldn’t she have another year of eligibility?

Last edited 1 month ago by Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 month ago

She was also orginally in the high school class of 2018. I feel like her “timer” may have ran out, but I may be wrong.

Viking Steve
1 month ago

Sandpiper workload not reproducible at college. It is possible that most Sandpipers have peaked early due to workload.

1 month ago

Jake Foster retired and will be starting medical school on Monday (https://www.instagram.com/p/C8bMH3ousPg/?igsh=MXAwZGhjNWtzY2FpNA==)

1 month ago

Congrats Erica! Loved watching you. Good luck with your film career😁

1 month ago

She’s an icon. While her retirement isn’t a surprise, I’m still sad to see her go. Her 1500 in Tokyo was really special

(in other Texas retirement news, Jake Foster said he is done with swimming and is starting med school Monday)

1 month ago

I really admire her decision to leave on a positive note. Overstaying your love for the sport creates resentment. Congrats on an amazing career, Erica!

1 month ago

Congrats on amazing career and being a wonderful ambassador to the sport! 🏳️‍🌈♥️

1 month ago

Sounds about right.