World Record Holder Ariana Kukors Officially Retires After Year Away From Swimming

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

September 26th, 2013 National, News

200 IM World Record holder Ariana Kukors has decided to retire after taking a year away from the sport after her Olympic appearance in 2012.

In news broken by the Kent Reporter and the Auburn Reporter’s Shawn Skager, Kukors said she leaves the sport feeling good about her decision.

“I always kind of thought that 2012 would be my last year. The Olympics were the perfect icing on the cake. I’m very pleased and content with my career. I’m very happy with how everything went and excited to be walking away with great memories and great friends.”

In the 2009 suited onslaught of the World Record books, few came from as surprising of a point, and few perhaps seem as out-of-reach, as Kukors’ 2:06.15 in the 200 long course IM. She is a swimmer that was never among, say, the top 10 in the world in any one stroke, but she was an extremely versatile swimmer who absolutely crushes her underwaters.

Kukors is a product of Auburn, Washington, near Seattle, and spent her first collegiate season at the University of Washington. When that program was cut, she transferred to Chapman University and went pro in swimming, training with the new pro group in Fullerton under her former head coach Sean Hutchison.

In 2009, she broke the World Record in the 200 IM in Rome at the World Championships with that stunning 2:06.15. She actually possesses the two fastest swims in history, but that World Record is the only mark even under 2:07 (and the closest swim in textile is still 1.4 seconds away from Kukors’ mark). And to think: at that year’s National Championships, she was only 3rd in the 200 IM, and only got to swim because 15-year old Liz Pelton withdrew from the event.

Still, even with that World Record, she had to wait until 2012 to make her first Olympic Team, which she did in the 200 IM and ended up placing 5th.

Kukors is part of a big-time swimming family, that includes sisters Emily and Mattie, both of whom swam for major Division I programs.

She now works as the director of health inspiration for LifeWise Health Plan of Washington and writes for their online magazine Actively Northwest.

Kukors was not drug-tested by USADA in the 1st or 2nd quarters of 2013, though she remained in the testing pool at least through the end of 2012 based on testing data. Removal from that pool is how swimmers officially retire.

Kukors is just 24 years old.

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bobo gigi

Great career for Miss Kukors and nice person in interview.
I believe she will still have her world record in 2040! 🙂
After Megan Jendrick, now Ariana Kukors.
I hope you will not write the same kind of article about Katie Hoff in the next few days. I want to see her back in the water.


I agree!

Great career by Kukors!

And she need not worry, I don’t think her WR will be broken before 2020 Tokyo.


Bobo…I fear the next one of these articles will be about Rececca Soni


As a Washingtonian I always had hoped to see Jendrick and Kukors on a Team USA medley relay together. That would have been amazing! For awhile locally Kukors’ 100’s were really picking up and with Jendrick always a threat in the breaststroke it seemed in the realm of possibility, even if not likely… dreams of a swim fan fading, I guess!

It was definitely a gem to see them swim on so many KING relays together over the years though!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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