Wu Minxia, one of two divers to win five Olympic gold medals, announced her retirement Thursday, reportedly saying her physical condition would not allow her to compete.
Wu, 31, made the emotional announcement on Chinese TV (video here).
“I am really sorry, but my physical condition does not allow me to continue training,” Wu said on TV, according to Agence France-Presse and Reuters. “I really feared the coming of today.”
Wu hinted at retirement in a Weibo post Wednesday.
“Now, though reluctantly, it’s time to leave,” was posted, according to Reuters. “The story of Chinese diving didn’t start with me, and it won’t end with me.”
Wu contemplated retirement after the 2012 London Olympics and has had many injuries during her decorated career, most recently a reported leg injury in May. So many that she was nicknamed “The Fragile Girl.”
Wu is the only diver to win gold medals at four Olympics and, with countrywoman Chen Ruolin, one of the only two with five gold medals total.
Chen announced her retirement at age 23 in October due to injuries.
Wu made her Olympic debut at Athens 2004 at age 18, winning the first of her four straight Olympic synchronized springboard titles. The first two were with Guo Jingjing. The last two were with He Zi and Shi Tingmao.
Wu also owns a full set of individual springboard medals (silver in 2004, bronze in 2008 and gold in 2012).
Only one diver owns more Olympic medals — Russian Dmitry Sautin — who won eight from 1992 through 2008.Follow @nzaccardi