British swimmer Spofforth retires at 24

Former world champion swimmer Gemma Spofforth has announced her retirement from the sport at the age of just 24.

British swimmer Spofforth retires at 24

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Gemma Spofforth during the Women's 100m Backstroke Final

The Brit broke the 100m backstroke record in 2009 on her way to world championship gold in Rome and finished fifth at London 2012, but believes that she ‘cannot top’ competing at a home Olympics. 

The four-time Olympic finalist said: “I have had a very turbulent career and I feel that I cannot top a home crowd in London or a world record in Rome (in 2009). 

“I cannot top the experiences I have had and most importantly the friends I have made through the sport. 

“When it comes down to it, the races and competition are not what will stay with me, the people and friends I have met and made will stay with me forever.”

She added: “I would love to thank everyone who has made this journey possible, specifically the unconditional support and love my dad has given me over these years, the patience my brother has shown with his world-travelling sister and the fantastic coaching I have received from each and every one of my coaches.”

“I've started a new life. I'd like to work with under-privileged kids who need that structure in their lives, who need sport or something like that in their lives. 

“To be able to create that avenue for the kids, one that I was so lucky to have myself because I had a fortunate childhood, is something that really motivates me.”

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