Svetlana Romashina, the most decorated artistic swimmer in Olympic history, has announced her retirement today in an interview for Match TV.
The Russian athlete competed in the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, winning gold every single time. She is also a 21-time World Champion and 13-time World Champion.
“The final decision, I think, came later. Probably some part of me realized that I should go home to my family, I had won so much. But sports is a drug, which is very difficult to give up, given that you understand that you can be the best in the world. At first it took me time to rest and recover, and then came the final understanding that as an athlete I had done absolutely everything. And now there is room to move forward, there is room to develop. Naturally, it is related to sports and synchronized swimming. That’s why I would like to announce that I’m retiring, but I’m not going far from sports. I stay in our sports family,” she told Match TV.
Romashina joined the Russian senior national team at only 15 years old — she remains the second youngest to ever move up to the Russian senior squad. She made her debut at the 2005 FINA World Championships, and went on to become the most titled Russian athlete. She is also the only female athlete to have won at least seven Olympic golds without ever claiming silver or bronze.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, she won the first Olympic gold of her career as part of the team at 19 years old. In London and Rio de Janeiro, she won gold in team and in duet with five-time Olympic champion Natalia Ishchenko.
After the 2016 Games, she put her career on hold to take a break and start a family. After the birth of her daughter Aleksandra, she successfully returned to elite for the 2019 season. She won her last two Olympic golds in Tokyo in team and in duet with three-time Olympic champion Svetlana Kolesnichenko.
Overall, she also competed in seven World Championships throughout her career across the solo, duet and team events. She competed for the last time at the Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. At that time, she had mentioned these would probably be her final Games but she also specified that she had not yet decided on the trajectory of her sports career.
“I feel absolutely calm about letting go of my sports career – a feeling of saturation had come,” she added.
The 33-year-old will remain involved in artistic swimming in the future. She’s already the head of a sports school, the “Youth of Moscow” School of Synchronized Swimming.
“I continue to love my sport, I’m ready to give my strength and love, and pass on my skills to our younger generation” she said. ” I am present on the poolside, I help with the routines. And if I can be useful in the work of the federation or somewhere else, I am always open. So I’m still around, just not as a professional athlete now, but as a fan for sure.”
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET
Cover photo: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia
If you’ve enjoyed our coverage, please consider donating to Inside Synchro! Any amount helps us run the site and travel costs to cover meets during the season.