Tokyo Olympian Alice Dearing announces her retirement

Tokyo Olympian and history maker Alice Dearing has today announced her retirement from competitive swimming.

Dearing became the first black woman to compete for Team GB in the sport when she dived into the Odaiba Marine Park at the Tokyo Olympics three years ago where she secured a top 20 finish.

Her Olympic debut ended with 19th place finish in the Women’s 10km marathon swimming event which highlighted a career where she became world and European junior champion as well as competing at a senior world championships on three separate occasions.

The Loughborough University athlete came through the DiSE programme made her senior international debut in the 5km event at the 2015 World Championships before becoming 10km World Junior Open Water Champion a year later.

She went on to compete at the World Championships in Budapest in 2017 and in Gwangju two years later.

Dearing went on to target an Olympic place and made history after an incredible fourth in the Olympic Games qualifying race in Funchal, Madeira in June 2021 to book her spot in the Japanese capital.

Outside of the pool she’s gone on to make an ever-lasting impact on the sport, co-founding the Black Swimming Association whose aim is to highlight swimming as an essential life skill and encourage participation in black and minority ethnic communities.

Alice Dearing wins gold at 2016 World Junior Open Water Champs.‘My journey doesn’t stop here’

Announcing her decision on the eve of her 27th birthday, Alice took to Instagram saying: “From the little girl who was too scared to jump in the pool to the woman who stood on the shores of lakes and oceans around the world, swimming for her country.

“I’ve come a long way and I’m proud of the swimmer I became, but even prouder of the woman I am.

“Ten years swimming for Britain at a senior international level. World and European junior champion. The first Black woman to swim for Team GB at an Olympic Games. Charity-co founder. Changemaker.

“Swimming has provided platforms and opportunities for me I never dreamed possible, and as I move into the next phase of my career, I’m announcing my retirement from the sport.

“Now it’s about continuing to give opportunities to more and more people to help them discover their potential, whatever that may be.

“Thank you to all the people who have raised me up over this journey. Too many of you to name. It really has taken a village. It’s been fun. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. But my journey doesn’t stop here.”

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