Leisel Jones Retires As Australia’s Most Decorated Olympic Athlete

Australian swimmer Leisel Jones announced her retirement today.

Jones, who competed in her first Olympics at the age of 14 in Sydney 2000, will retire at the age of 27.

Jones said:

“It’s a very hard decision to come to and I took my time after London to make sure it was the right decision. And I have come to the conclusion that I ticked every single box that I ever wanted to in my career and there is nothing more that I could ever achieve.”

Reuters reports that Jones won nine Olympic medals during her career and is Australia’s most decorated Olympic athlete. She is also the only Australian athlete to compete in four Olympic Games. (Ian Thorpe, another Australian swimmer, also has nine Olympic medals.)

Jones said: “This decision is from my heart and it has probably been coming for a little while.”

The 27-year-old athlete may be ending her competitive career but Jones said that she will still be hanging out around the pool. Jones didn’t say what she wanted to do but hinted that she may look at coaching.

Jones’ life has been consumed by training for the last two decades and now that she’s retired, at the age of 27, she feels like she has a fresh start. Reuters reports that Jones might go back to school to study psychology.

Jones said: “I feel like I’m 18 again.”

Jones won three gold medals and ended her career by taking silver in the 4×100 meter medley at the London Olympics.