2008 Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini is considering retiring from the sport of swimming.
In an exclusive interview with the Weekly Chi in Italy, the reigning 200m freestyle World Champion said “I’m seriously thinking about leaving (swimming)”, claiming her heart tells her to stop due to issues ‘out of the pool’ while her head is telling her to continue. “By autumn I will decide what to do with my life”.
Pellegrini, who turned 30 earlier this month, hinted that if she does decide to retire, she has aspirations of becoming a mother.
The Italian triumphantly returned to major international glory last summer at the World Championships, winning gold in the 200 free over reigning Olympic and World Champion Katie Ledecky. That victory gave her an astonishing seven consecutive medals in the event, first winning silver in 2005, and was also her third gold after victories in 2009 and 2011.
On the Olympic level, Pellegrini won silver in the 200 free in Athens just days after turning 16, and then followed up with a gold medal win four years later in Beijing.
After that World title in Budapest, Pellegrini claimed she was retiring the 200 free from her event lineup (at least at major competitions), and stayed true to her word this year as she only competed individually in the 100 free (placing 5th) at the European Championships in Glasgow.
She currently holds the LCM world record in the 200 free (1:52.98), and is the 2nd-fastest woman ever in the 400 free (3:59.15).