David Plummer, who made his first Olympic team in his fourth attempt and won two medals in Rio, has retired, according to USA Swimming.
“I haven’t been in the water since Rio, so this has been true for a while, but now I am saying it out loud and I am admitting it to myself,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam.com. “I am retiring. I am done swimming.
“This was a hard decision to make. I have defined myself as a swimmer since I was five years old, but it comes down to this: I don’t want it any more. The majority of my life I have wanted to swim fast more than I wanted to breathe. I don’t want it that way anymore.”
Plummer, at age 30, became the oldest first-time U.S. Olympic swimmer since 1908 and earned bronze in the 100m backstroke and gold in the 4x100m medley relay.
He did so after his fourth Olympic Trials appearance, following finishing third in the 100m back at the 2012 Olympic Trials, where the top two make the Olympic team.
“I have been told by many people since the Olympics that they were inspired by my perseverance,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam. “I always just thought I was a slow learner. Honestly, I just couldn’t find a way to step away when I still had more to accomplish, more to prove to myself.”
Plummer’s absence shouldn’t hurt the U.S. swim team too much. The last two Olympic 100m back champions are active Americans — Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers. Grevers finished third at last summer’s Olympic Trials, so he couldn’t defend his title in Rio.
“As an American backstroker there was never a shortage of people faster than me,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam. “I got to race guys like Ryan Murphy and Aaron Piersol (sic) (and the list goes on and on). I also got to race a guy named Matt Grevers. He is a guy who will haunt your dreams. I actually had nightmares of him out-touching me in races.”
Grevers is slated for his first meet since the Olympic Trials in Austin, Texas, this weekend, with coverage on NBC Sports.
Austin Broadcast Schedule — 7 ET each night
Friday — NBCSN
Saturday — NBCSN
Sunday — NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app