Alexa

Swimmer Grant Hackett retires

Swimmer Grant Hackett retires

Dual Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett announced his retirement Monday after almost a decade of dominance in the 1,500 meters.
"I have been doing this for a long time and just make the most of every opportunity," Hackett told the Swimming Australia awards dinner Monday. "Now it is all just a memory for me."
Hackett, 28, retires with the 1,500-meter record of 14 minutes, 34.56 seconds that he set at the 2001 world championships at Fukuoka, Japan. He also holds the world record in the 800 and held the world mark for the 200 freestyle in 1999 until it was overhauled by fellow Australian Ian Thorpe.
The normally composed Hackett was emotional as he told the audience of his decision. They gave him a standing ovation.
"I wasn't expecting that," he said.
Hackett has spent the last two months considering his future after just missing out on a history-making third straight Olympic 1,500-meter freestyle title in Beijing.
Hackett won four world titles from 1998 and two Olympic golds in the 1,500 before being beaten by Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia in August in Beijing.
He has recently taken up a job reading the weekend sports news on the Nine television network in Melbourne and is starting a career in finance with an Australian bank.
Hackett won Olympic gold in the 1,500 at Sydney and Athens and another in 2000 when he swam a heat of the Australian 4x200 freestyle relay. He also won 10 gold medals at the world championships.
Hackett said competing in the Sydney Games and being part of the successful Australian team had been his career highlights.
"Going to the Olympic Games and having the opportunities to compete in front of a home crowd in Sydney and being part of such a wonderful team and continuing to be a part of a wonderful team in Beijing this year have been the highlights," he said.
When asked what he would miss most in retirement, Hackett replied: "The love of the competition and competing and being part of such a wonderful team environment."