Aleksandra Patskevich, a two-time Olympic champion and 13-time world champion for the Russian Federation, has announced her return to the elite level after a two-year absence.
Patskevich has been one of the veterans of the Russian team for the last two quadrenniums. She competed with the team and won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, and has swam at five world championships (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017).
During the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, she was part of the duet for the first time in her career alongside Svetlana Kolesnichenko, and won two gold medals in the technical and free duet events.
Soon after Budapest, she decided to step away from the pool and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons. She gave birth to her first child last summer, and also served as a coach.
Patskevich announced her return on her Instagram account, and it appears she is already back at Round Lake, near Moscow, where the senior national team trains all year. While she did compete in 2017, she has not been part of a team routine since the last Olympics in Rio.
The Russian Olympic team is shaping up to be loaded with talent as Patskevich is now the third 2016 Olympic champion to return, following in the footsteps of Svetlana Romashina and Alla Shishskina who both had taken a break during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
If selected to the Olympic team, the Russian team may very well have six returning Olympians in Tokyo, with Vlada Chigireva, Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Maria Shurochkina as well.