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Published On: Thu, Sep 22nd, 2016

Kirsty Coventry Announces Retirement, Set to Join International Surfing Association as VP

Seven-time Olympic medalist Kirsty Coventry has decided to call it a swimming career after competing in her fifth Olympic Games for Zimbabwe last month in Rio at the age of 32.

Coventry, who won gold medals in the 200 back at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and four years later in Beijing, announced the decision in an emotional Facebook live video last week on her 33rd birthday. She spoke from the backyard of her parents’ house in Zimbabwe while accompanied by her husband, Tyrone Seward.

Coventry will have plenty on her plate in retirement as she joins the International Surfing Association (ISA) as a Vice President, replacing Australia’s Layne Beachley. Surfing is coming onto the radar as it prepares to make it’s Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

“I am thrilled to be joining Fernando and the ISA team as vice-president at such an exciting time following surfing’s inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Coventry said, according to InsideTheGames.Biz. Surfing expresses a unique and modern blend of sport performance, culture and a connection to nature that resonates with my own global outlook. “

Coventry figures to be an important link between the ISA and International Olympic Committee as she has severed on the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission for several years. In Rio, Coventry swam and then represented the IOC when she handed out medals for several swimming events (men’s medley relay and both open water races) and assisted with the men’s basketball medal presentation.

Swimming World has reached out to Coventry and will update this story when we have received a reponse.