Atkinson calls time on swimming career

3 Sep 2020

European champion Charlotte Atkinson has called time on her swimming career as she looks to move into medicine. 

Atkinson helped Britain to victory in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay at the 2018 European Championships, four months after appearing at her second Commonwealth Games for the Isle of Man. 

The previous year, the Loughborough University athlete made her World Championships debut in Budapest, where she featured in the Women's 100m and 200m Butterfly events, as well as seeing the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay team into the final of that event. 

Charlotte's Worlds call-up followed on from a memorable performance in the British Championships of 2017, when she claimed gold in both the 50m and 200m Butterfly contests. 

At last year's national event - back in the Glasgow pool that brought her that European gold in 2018 - Atkinson finished behind Alys Thomas in the 100m Butterfly final to take silver. 

Charlotte confirmed her decision on her Instagram page, saying: "After much thought and reflection, I have decided to retire from competitive swimming. Swimming has been the biggest part of my life for the past 10 years, but it is time to listen to my heart and move on. 

"I am obviously disappointed I didn't get to have my shot at the Olympic Games, but I am so proud of everything else I have achieved. I am so grateful my career allowed me to travel the world and meet so many amazing people along the way. To represent Great Britain and the Isle of Man on a world stage is something I will never forget.

Charlotte Atkinson British Champs 2017
Charlotte Atkinson

"I couldn't have achieved any of this without my family, friends, coaches, staff and sponsors in Loughborough, Plymouth and on the Isle of Man. Thank you for all the memories. I can't wait to start my next chapter training to be a Physician Associate in London." 

On the 23-year-old's retirement, British Swimming National Performance Director Chris Spice said: "It was always a pleasure to have Charlotte on the British squad and we will miss her energy and enthusiasm around the team. 

"She retires a European champion after helping our team win the Mixed Medley Relay in Glasgow 2018. We wish her all the best in her next endeavours."