Diver Sam Dorman, a Rio Olympic synchronized springboard silver medalist, announced his retirement in an online letter Wednesday.
“After multiple injuries throughout 19 years of competing, subsequent surgeries and countless hours of rehab, I would still do it all over again,” wrote the 27-year-old Dorman, who battled a back injury and underwent surgery in 2017, then came back to finish fifth at the FINA World Cup with Olympic partner Michael Hixon in June. “At this point in my life, I know my body can no longer withstand the extreme intensity of training and perfection that this sport demands.”
Dorman and Hixon had the best U.S. Olympic men’s springboard result in 24 years at the Rio Games, beating the dominant Chinese for silver with the highest-scoring dive of the competition in the last round. Brits Chris Mears and Jack Laugher edged Dorman and Hixon for gold by 4.11 points.
Dorman called Hixon his “right-hand man” in Wednesday’s letter.
“You set the standard for a disciplined work ethic and demanded a non-negotiable level of excellence in every training session,” Dorman wrote. “I could not have asked for a better Olympic teammate.”
Dorman made more headlines after Rio for getting a matching Olympic rings tattoo with golfer Rickie Fowler.
Dorman also finished sixth and seventh in synchro springboard at the last two world championships and was third in the individual springboard at the 2016 Olympic Trials, where the top two earned Rio spots.
Dorman and Hixon beat 2012 Olympic bronze medalists Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen at those trials, which was their first competition since pairing up that spring.
Dorman won one NCAA title at Miami, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree in 2015.
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