Olympic swimmer Kiera calls it a day
Some seven months after failing in her bid to qualify for another Olympic Games, Kiera Aitken has quit swimming.
The 29-year-old who has been based in Barcelona, Spain, for the last several years, confirmed yesterday after competing in the Fairmont to Fairmont road race that she has decided to retire from swimming.
“Yeah, there comes a time when every swimmer has to make that decision and I’m getting pretty old for swimming,” said Aitken while recovering from the 7.2 mile road race in which she placed 162nd out of more than 300 runners. “I could keep going, but it is my time.”
Aitken, whose speciality was the 100 metres backstroke, made an unsuccessful bid to qualify for a third Games last summer. She had earlier stated that she would retire from the sport even if she did qualify for the London Games.
“I wish it had ended on a higher note, being in the Olympics, but two Olympics is not bad,” she stated. “After Beijing I was considering it but I decided to keep going for another year and my coach in Spain wanted me to keep going. I did a year and decided to go for the next Olympics.
‘I knew for the last four years that this would be the end. I did everything I wanted to do, so no regrets. I tried my hardest in the end to qualify so I’m proud of myself.”
Aitken plans some travelling and will be based in South America. She is back home until February.
As for taking up running more seriously, she said: “I’m not a runner, I’m just getting into it to keep fit and have fun. I want to do some races but don’t want to take it to the level that I had with swimming. I hope to get involved with swimming when I come back permanently.
“It was a long time that I was a swimmer so it is a big change, but I’m taking it well and don’t miss it. I haven’t been back in the pool since my last race at the end of June.”