Two-time Olympian for Bermuda, Roy Burch, has announced his retirement from the sport of competitive swimming. The 31-year-old, who competed in Beijing and London, will focus on his new career as Head Coach at Lake Norman Charter School in Huntersville, North Carolina.
Burch, who still holds Bermuda’s 50m and 100m freestyle national records, had been training the past Olympic cycle with SwimMAC Elite under the direction of David Marsh. Burch was gearing up for his 3rd Olympic appearance in Rio when he suffered a season-ending injury in 2015. The incident resulted in bi-lateral patella rupture in both his knees. Burch was in a wheelchair for 3 months and his bid for a Rio Olympic berth was derailed.
The road to recovery had him move from wheelchair to a walker to crutches, until he finally was back in the water and able to compete at the 2016 Caribbean Island Championships. Although he was able to score a FINA ‘B’ standard as lead-off leg of the Bermudian mixed 18+ 200m freestyle relay, it wasn’t enough to garner a spot on the Bermudian Olympic roster for a 3rd time.
Nevertheless, Burch’s ability to persevere serves as an inspiration to swimmers everywhere. Below is a compilation of photos put together by Burch’s wife, followed by her heartfelt announcement confirming his retirement.