Atkinson draws the curtain on remarkable swimming career after Short-course World Championships

By December 21, 2021

Jamaican swimming legend Alia Atkinson has decided to call it a career after her fourth-place finish in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke at the FINA World Short-course Championships in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Atkinson, 33, announced her retirement from the sport in a post on Instagram after completing her races at the championships.

“Not the meet I hoped for but I am happy to say I finished every ounce of swimming talent God gave me, the bottle empty. Many times, I wanted to quit or give up, but I saw it through to the end,” Atkinson said.

The three-time Jamaica Sportswoman of the Year also offered her fans words of wisdom in her farewell message.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of fun and not so fun moments but always remember to make fun memories…they don’t make themselves, take nothing for granted and enjoy each step both the good and the challenging, let go of the negatives of the day, your best changes daily so do the best you can on that day!” Atkinson added.

Atkinson leaves behind a remarkable legacy in the sport, retiring as the current world-record holder (SC) in both the 50m and 100m with times of 28.56 and 1:02.36, respectively.

“Fun fact: I get to retire with my two World Records intact. That’s something I never thought would happen and this last race reminded me just how remarkable my career was,” she said.

Making her competitive debut for Jamaica at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a 15-year-old, Atkinson went on to amass more than 30 medals in international competition.

She won two medals at the Long-course Swimming Championships, 10 at the Short-course Swimming Championships including four gold, three at the Commonwealth Games, two at the Pan Am Games and 14 at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games including 11 gold.

She offered a last message of gratitude to those who have supported her throughout the years.

“Many thanks to all that have supported me, cheered for me and followed me these past decades. It meant a lot,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson retires as one of Jamaica and the Caribbean's most successful athletes in the history of the sport whose contributions will be talked about for generations.

 

 

 

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