“Grateful” Olympic champion Pernille Blume announces swimming retirement

Pernille Blume won three Olympic medals during highly decorated career – Simone Castrovillari

Olympic champion Pernille Blume says swimming will “always hold a special place” in her heart after announcing her retirement from the sport at the age of 28.

The Dane made her Olympic debut as an 18 year old at the London 2012 Games where she competed in five events.

World as well as European Championship relay successes would follow over the next four years before she truly announced herself on the global stage with a stunning 50m freestyle gold medal at Rio 2016.

“I’m so grateful for everything swimming has taught me,” she wrote on Instagram.

“For the people who helped me achieve my wildest dreams, for meeting people across the globe and making friends, for learning to dream big, for getting to know myself even better and for all the incredible experiences I had throughout the years.”

She would also claim bronze as part of the Danish women’s 4x100m medley relay team at the Games in Brazil, before claiming another third place – in the 100m freestyle – at the 2017 World Championships.

Blume also won five European Championship long course medals as well as 13 European short course honours between 2011 and 2019.

Her last major international medal came at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games where she claimed bronze in the 50m freestyle.

She later joined the Danish reality TV programme of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ – known as ‘Vild med dans’ and placed third during a break from swimming.

The three-time World short course champion switched her training base and joined French club CN Antibes earlier this year – to join her finance Florent Manaudou, who is preparing for the Paris 2024 Games.

Blume is an 18-time European medallists – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Blume competed in events based in France as well as Sweden earlier this year before announcing her decision to end her competitive racing days.

“It has been a long journey coming to my decision and it has been some somewhat an emotional ride,” she continued in her social media post.

“Although it is hard and difficult to say goodbye to something I love so much, then it is also equally exciting and thrilling to think about a new chapter is about to unfold in my life.

“I don’t know yet how this new chapter will look like, but I’m taking the plunge and believing life’s got me and I will find my way to something meaningful and exciting just like swimming has been to me.

“Thank you for all the support ❤️”