World Record Holder Rikke Møller Pedersen Announces Retirement

by Retta Race 5

January 14th, 2019 Europe, International, News

Reigning 200m breaststroke World Record holder Rikke Møller Pedersen of Denmark has announced her retirement via Instagram.

“It is with the same uncertain steps but with the same will, the same courage and the same indomitable determination that I started my swimming career at the time and focused my efforts on achieving my dreams that today I announce that I am stopping my career as a professional swimmer.”

The 30-year-old relay bronze medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games continued, “It has been a difficult decision that has taken me a long time to take. In the process, I have struggled to place and prioritize the things that made the weight scale tilt towards my career stop.

“Against “No, I should not continue swimming”. The process has been difficult and characterized by thoughts like, “Am I giving up?”, “Should I just see what is waiting around the next corner?”, “Why am I not just scratching, letting it hurt and realizing it, as I know I can? ”and feelings as uncertain about what my future will offer and how it will never feel right to win something again and the fear of not being sufficient in a new environment. But the thoughts and feelings have been worked out and I am now standing and looking back proudly. I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.

“For 24 years, the swimming, my world below the surface, has been my canvas, my space and my joy. My sport has given me the best and hardest moments of my life. It has taught me reflection, the ability to immerse myself and the will to succeed. It has given me insight into myself and other people, collaboration, cohesion and community. I have learned to hold on to the nerves that give me the fifth gear and the joy of winning as well as the tears of defeat.

“With 15 years on the international scene I have learned to be brave and what it means to take courage for SIG (sic). I have learned who I am when standing alone behind my stool in front of several thousand spectators. I have learned together and to do my best every single day for myself and my team. My career has been a fantastic journey, and I have been so privileged to experience more than I could dream of. I find it hard to find words for the support that I have repeatedly experienced in co-operation and adversity. But I would like to thank you. Thank you to all of you who supported me.” (Google translate)

Pedersen’s career highlight was setting the women’s LCM 200 breaststroke World Record in the semi-finals of the event at the 2013 World Championships. She wound up falling to Russia’s Yulia Efimova in the final, unable to match her sub-2:20 performance and settling for silver in 2:20.08, but her standard still remains today.

Since then, Pedersen has continued to be a mainstay on the international elite breaststroking scene, capturing 200m bronze at the Short Course World Championships in Doha in 2014. Pedersen also snagged 200m breast gold at the 2016 Long Course European Championships before coming home with a bronze as a member of Denmark’s 4x100m medley relay in Rio.

Most recently, Pedersen earned silver at the 2018 edition of the LCM European Championships in Glasgow on the medley relay.

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Når livet banker på! Det er med de samme usikre skridt men med den samme vilje, det samme mod og samme ukuelige beslutsomhed, som dengang jeg begyndte min svømmekarriere og satsede alt på at nå mine drømme, at jeg i dag meddeler, at jeg stopper min karriere som professionel svømmer. Det har været en svær beslutning, der har taget mig lang tid at træffe. Jeg har i processen kæmpet med at placere og konkretisere de ting, som fik vægtskålen til at tilte mod mit karriere-stop. Mod ”Nej, jeg skal ikke fortsætte med at svømme”. Processen har været svær og præget af tanker som: ”Giver jeg op?”, ”Skal jeg lige se, hvad der venter rundt om det næste hjørne?”, ”Hvorfor klør jeg ikke bare på, lader det gøre ondt og realiserer det, som jeg ved, at jeg kan?” og følelser som uvished over hvad min fremtid vil byde på, og hvordan det vil føles aldrig rigtigt at vinde noget igen og frygten for ikke at være tilstrækkelig i et nyt miljø. Men tankerne og følelserne er blevet bearbejdet, og jeg står nu og ser mig stolt tilbage. Jeg er klar til at påbegynde et nyt kapitel i mit liv. I 24 år har svømningen, min verden under overfladen, været mit kanvas, mit frirum og min glæde. Min sport har givet mig mit livs bedste og hårdeste stunder. Den har lært mig refleksion, evnen til at fordybe mig og viljen til at lykkes. Den har givet mig indsigt i mig selv og andre mennesker, samarbejde, sammenhold og fælleskab. Jeg har lært at holde af nerverne, der giver mig det femte gear og glæden ved at sejre samt tårerne ved nederlag. Med 15 år på den internationale scene har jeg lært at være modig, og hvad det vil sige at tage mod til SIG. Jeg har lært, hvem jeg er, når jeg står alene bag min skammel foran flere tusinde tilskuere. Jeg har lært sammenhold og at yde mit bedste hver eneste dag for mig selv og mit hold.
Min karriere har været en helt fantastisk rejse, og jeg har været så privilegeret at opleve mere, end jeg har kunnet drømme om. Jeg har svært ved at finde ord for den støtte, som jeg gang på gang har oplevet i medgang og modgang. Men jeg vil gerne sige tak. Af hjertet tak til alle jer som har støttet mig💙 #gladsvømningrmp

A post shared by Rikke Moeller Pedersen (@rikkemp) on

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N P

Congratulations on an amazing career, Ms. Pedersen! Best wishes for your future.

MIKE IN DALLAS

Great lady, Great athlete, Great Statement!

S L

Should’ve been the World Champ in 13.

Alexi

Yes, if only she swam as fast as she did in the semi

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