Pac-12 Standout Isabella Rongione Retires, Opens Up About Mental Health

Isabella Rongione announced the end of her competitive swimming career, opening up about her personal struggles and the need to put her mental health first.

Rongione shared the news in an Instagram post this week. Her last swim came in December of 2018, the month before Rongione says he was admitted to treatment following a suicide attempt.

“My mental health had to be the priority over the past couple years and I never was able to fully commit to getting back into the pool,” Rongione writes.

“To all those athletes dealing with mental health issues — make sure to take the time you need in order to heal yourself properly.”

Rongione was an age group standout in distance freestyle who still holds USA Swimming’s National Age Group record for the 11-12 age group’s 1500 free (16:48.12). She competed in the NCAA for two seasons, scoring for the USC Trojans at the Pac-12 Championships in 2018 as a freshman.

She competed at U.S. Olympic Trials back in 2016, placing 32nd in the 400 free, 18th in the 800 free and 62nd in the 200 fly.

You can see her full Instagram post transcribed below:

“My last race as a competitive swimmer was in December 2018. Shortly after that in January 2019, I was admitted into treatment following a suicide attempt. Since then, I’ve constantly been in treatment for my mental health. I never thought that would be the last time I raced. I always hoped to find happiness again in the sport I once loved

“My mental health had to be the priority over the past couple years and I never was able to fully commit to getting back into the pool. Thank you swimming for all the memories and friends you gave me since the first day I started. Thank you for being a huge part of my life. it is something that I am very grateful to have experienced

“To all those athletes dealing with mental health issues — make sure to take the time you need in order to heal yourself properly. Mental health is just as, or even more important than your physical health. It’s okay to take time away from your sport in order to heal your body. You deserve the help you need❤️”

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urahrah
16 days ago

I am incredibly proud of Isabella for sharing her story, as her candor is going to help so many people. Enjoy retirement and all the new experiences that come with it!

coach
16 days ago

I am sorry to hear of her struggles. Best wishes for a positive and healthy future.

Swimmom
16 days ago

Courageous young woman.

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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