Chen Ruolin, who won gold in all five of her platform diving events across three Olympics, has retired at age 23 due to injuries, specifically a neck problem, according to Chinese media reports.
“She has a neck injury, which may cause some problems if she continues with her career,” a Chinese team manager said, according to the South China Morning Post. “Chen had great courage to get past the Rio Games, but now she has virtually retired. She could still have a lot more to offer due to her age, skills and experience in the sport.”
Chen swept individual and synchro platform golds in 2008 (at age 15) and 2012 and bagged another synchro title in Rio, joining teammate Wu Minxia as the only divers to earn five Olympic golds. They share the Chinese record of five Olympic gold medals with gymnast Zou Kai.
Wu may have ended her career at the Rio Olympics, too. She has left the national team, according to the newspaper.
Chen struggled with injuries and contemplated retirement between 2012 and 2016. She was surpassed by younger women in China’s deep system of individual platform divers but kept a sterling record in synchro, winning every World Cup, World Championships and Olympic title between 2006 and 2016.
Chen also lit the cauldron at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.Follow @nzaccardi