World Champion, World Record Breaker Kaio Almeida Retires from Swimming

35-year old Brazilian butterflier Kaio Almeida has announced his retirement from competitive swimming. This is his 2nd retirement from swimming – after the 2012 Olympic Games, he retired and became a politician, but would eventually return in time for the 2015 Pan American Games.

Almeida is a 4-time Brazilian Olympian, representing his country at the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. His best finish came at the 2008 Olympics where he qualified 3rd in prelims and ultimately finished 7th in the 200 fly final.

Almeida Olympic Finishes:

  • 2004, @ 19 years old – 100 fly, 17th, 53.22; 200 fly, 19th, 1:59.23
  • 2008, @ 23 years old – 100 fly, 15th, 52.32; 200 fly, 7th, 1:54.71
  • 2012 @ 27 years old – 100 fly, 27th, 53.14; 200 fly, 17th, 1:56.99
  • 2016 @ 31 years old – 200 fly, 14th, 1:57.45

Kaio Marcio. Trofeu Maria Lenk de Natacao, realizado no Centro Aquatico Olimpico. 17 de abril de 2016, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. Foto: Satiro Sodré/ SSPress

He is one of only 4 Brazilians to have raced at 4 Olympic Games, joining Thiago Pereira, Gustavo Borges, and 5-time Olympian Rogerio Romero.

Almeida was the 2006 World Champion in the 100 fly in short course meters, and between the 2006 and 2010 editions of that meet won 5 total medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze). He also won 4 Pan American Games gold medals, including a sweep of the butterfly events in 2007.

He twice set World Records in short course meters. In 2005, prior to the supersuit era, he swam 22.60 in the 50 fly, which stood until Australian Matt Jaukovic broke it by a tenth almost 3 years later.

In November of 2009, at the tail end of the aforementioned supersuit era, he swam 1:49.11 to break the 200 short course meters fly World Record. That swim stood for almost 4 years until Chad Le Clos broke it in August of 2013. Almeida was the first person to ever break the 1:50.00 barrier in the 200 fly.

His last major international medal for Brazil came at the 2018 South American Swimming Championships, where he took silver in the 200 fly in 1:58.41.

All Time Career Ranks Globally:

  • 100 fly, SCM – 13th (49.44)
  • 200 fly, SCM – 5th (1:49.11)
  • 200 fly, LCM – 14th (1:53.92)

Almeida announced his retirement in an emotional Instagram post, where he thanks his parents, coaches, and teammates.

“Today was one of the most special day of my life, where I did my last workout with some friends who helped me a lot in these last years of my career and who taught me a lot,” the post says in part.

“I hope that the next generations swim faster and faster and represent our country with as much joy as I have always done. Now I am going to go on my way with all of the experience I have learned for years and making people happy and swimming better!

“A final thank you to all the people who always supported me and all this support and affection was a fuel for my results. Thank God for my career.”

View this post on Instagram

É com muita alegria que hoje anúncio que estou deixando as piscinas e pendurando a minha sunga 🏊🏼‍♂️. A natação sempre foi um esporte que esteve presente na minha vida desde que me entendo por gente. Hoje foi um dos dias mais especiais na minha vida onde fiz meu último treino ao lado de vários amigos que me ajudaram muito esses últimos anos de carreira e me ensinaram muita coisa. Quero agradecer em especial aos meus pais @gisleidecostaalmeida @almeida_josemarcio.almeida568_ terem acreditado em mim desde o começo, meu pai me ensinou a nadar e levei esse ensinamento para a vida, plantaram a semente em mim e ao passar do tempo fui desenvolvendo no esporte. Meus treinadores @leodegarioarruda que me ensinou a tirar o melhor de mim e buscar sempre o impossível. A @rosane.carneiro por sempre me ajudar a deixar um estilo cada vez mais perfeito. Ao @luiz.eduardo.raphael por ter me proporcionado experiências maravilhosas e por me deixar na melhor forma que já estive na vida. Ao Dudu que aceitou o desafio de me treinar para minha última olimpíada e me ajudar a chegar onde um dia sempre quis estar. Também ao @sergiomarq por ter me ajudado muito durante meus últimos anos de natação. Ainda agradeço ao @teofilolaborne por ter me dado a oportunidade de estar nadando no @mtcnatacao quando eu estava de ombro operado e totalmente fora de forma. Também agradeço a minha esposa @remeneghini por estar sempre ao meu lado e me proporcionar minha filhota e também por me proporcionar muito carinho por todos estes anos. Ainda agradeço a todos os clubes que nadei e também a todos os amigos que conquistei neste esporte maravilhoso. Desejo que as próximas gerações nadem cada vez mais rápido e representem nosso país com tanta alegria como sempre fiz. Agora vou seguir o meu caminho passando toda a experiência que aprendi durante anos e fazendo as pessoas felizes e nadando melhor! Um último obrigado a todas as pessoas que sempre torceram por mim e toda essa torcida e carinho foi um combustível para os meus resultados. Obrigado Deus pela minha carreira 🙏🏼. #kaiomarciooff

A post shared by Kaio Márcio (@kaiomarciooficial) on

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Sprintdude9000
20 days ago

Great athlete. At 5’9″ he must be one of the shortest swimmers to hold a 50m world record. (Also interesting that he held the 50m and 200m, but never the 100m!)

Last edited 20 days ago by Sprintdude9000
Corn Pop
20 days ago

Never heard of him .

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Corn Pop
19 days ago

Neither had I but congratualtaions to him as those achievements are excellent. I think our ignorance shows how little value has beem put on SCM historically. As a swimming fan I would expect to have heard of world champions and world record holders but unfortunately I didn’t start watching short course worlds until first Lochte and then Manadou made it seem more legit with the performances they threw down.

Danjohnrob
19 days ago

Congratulations on a successful and long-lasting career!

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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