American Ricky Berens has retired for the second time in 16 months, walking away from competitive swimming at 25.
“Now I think it’s about time for the next adventure in my life,” Berens told SwimSwam. “If you were to tell me I was ever going to walk away with three Olympic medals, I’d tell you you were crazy. To accomplish that, to finish on a high note — I had an incredible summer, to really walk away with all that, I’ve accomplished dreams.
“There’s more to life than swimming.”
Berens won gold medals on the U.S. 4x200m freestyle relay teams at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and silver with the 4x100m free relay team in 2012. He also won five relay medals (four gold) at World Championships from 2009 to 2013.
He announced his first retirement at the London Olympics, but that didn’t last long. He came back and broke the American short course record in the 200-yard freestyle, his first national mark, in March.
“After 2012, I was ready to be done,” Berens told SwimSwam. “I stuck it out for another year. Literally, in the last year I’ve had more fun swimming than I’ve ever had before. The pressure was off. I was enjoying it. I swam faster than I ever had before.”