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Paralympic champion Frederiksen retires from competitive swimming

13 November 2013

Paralympic champion Heather Frederiksen has announced her retirement from swimming after a career of six years at the top of the sport.

Frederiksen was one of six British athletes to stand on the top of the podium at the London 2012 Paralympic Games after swimming to victory in the S8 100m Backstroke.

"Swimming has given me so much but I haven't been in the best of health for the past two seasons," - Heather FrederiksenThe multiple-world record holder made her international debut for British Para-Swimming at 20 years old and didn’t look back, scoring a total of 20 international accolades in her career including 10 gold medals.

Of her retirement she said: “It was a really tough decision to make because I love swimming and it has given me so much but I haven’t been in the best of health for the past two seasons and I knew I had to put recovery and my health first.

“I have so many good memories from swimming including winning my first Paralympic gold medal in a world record time in Beijing after being told that I wouldn’t walk again. Picking up my MBE from the Palace was something I would never have expected and a huge honour for me.

“Then London will always be in my heart. I won gold at those Games and got to stand on the podium listening to everyone singing the national anthem which was incredible.

Click play to watch Heather's S8 100m Backstroke final from London 2012.

“I want to thank everyone at British Swimming and especially Mark Rose who has supported me throughout my illness and his continuing support now.

“I recently got married and we are starting a family. I am expecting my first child and I can’t wait to be a mummy. I won’t be far away from the pool either as I’ve just qualified for my level two coaching certificate so I will be back but on deck this time.”

National Performance Director Chris Furber added: “Heather has enjoyed a hugely successful swimming career and I want to congratulate her on all she has achieved.

“She was a really motivated athlete that showed great dedication for the sport throughout her career. On behalf of everyone at British Para-Swimming I want to wish her luck and best wishes for the future.”

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