Amanda Doyle

Double Olympic champion Britta Steffen retires


Germany’s two-time Olympic champion swimmer Britta Steffen announced her retirement today, saying in a statement that she finishes her career knowing that she is “one of the best in the world.” The 29-year-old made four Olympic appearances, winning titles in the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle at the Beijing Games — the first swimming gold medals for Germany since 1992. At 2009 World Championships, she set records in the both of those events that still stand today.

Steffen’s retirement follows disappointing performances at last month’s world championships and at the 2012 Games, where she finished fourth in the 50 free. The swimmer said she did not have the “necessary motivation and energy ” to continue competing for medals.

Steffen is the latest swimmer to leave the sport; earlier this week, two U.S. women — one a world record holder and the other an Olympic champion — announced their plans to retire.