Olympic star shock with sudden retirement

Henry

With the Olympic Games around the corner, one of Australia’s brightest stars in the pool, 22-year-old Chelsea Hodges, announced her official retirement on Friday.

Hodges is considered one of the Aussies’ best breaststroke swimmers, while at the Tokyo Games she tasted gold in the 4×100 m medley event.

But a couple of hip surgeries took their toll on the young swimmer.

Hodges says she has, as it were, “no more breaststroke kicks left” and she will not participate in the trials for the Olympic team next month.

“I had my first hip operation at 15 and another one last year. I have the hips of a 60-year-old, so to speak,” she said.

“I wanted one last chance at the Games (Paris), but after six cortisone injections I had to make a decision about my future.”

Rohan Taylor, Australia’s head swimming coach, believes Hodges will continue to be involved in the sport.

“Chelsea held out as long as possible to make her Paris dream a reality and she came so close. It feels bittersweet to congratulate her on a wonderful career,” said Taylor.

This year’s Games begin in 63 days on July 26 in France.