One of Canada’s greatest swimmers announced his retirement at Commonwealth Pool today.
Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane is remembered for winning two medals in the 1500-metre events at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, along with countless medal finishes and records on the international stage. Today, he said goodbye where it all began. Tyler Bennett has more.
“It’s very emotional for me, it’s very difficult.”
After representing his country in three Olympic games and winning countless medals internationally, Victoria’s own Ryan Cochrane announced his retirement from swimming this morning.
“It’s very bittersweet to actually decide to leave the sport of swimming because it’s been 20 years and especially in a place like Victoria where, I’m so thankful looking back that this is where I got to share that experience.”
“I think for a long time he was almost everything to Canadian swimming and I don’t mean to put down anyone else, but he was the guy that brought incredible reliability to Canadian swimming,” HPC Victoria Head Coach Ryan Mallette says. “You could count on Ryan to perform year-in and year-out and he never missed, and I don’t know if we’ve ever had that in Canadian swimming it was just unbelievable.”
A two-time Olympic medalist, winning a bronze medal in Beijing and a silver in London, Cochrane’s decision to retire began at the Rio Olympic games this summer.
“After Rio I was completely gutted, I just couldn’t understand what had happened and I was just very distraught, really, so I just wanted to give myself enough time to see my whole career in its entirety and not make a knee-jerk response of you know, ‘I’m mad at this moment and what am I going to do,’ so it took a lot of months and it’s not an easy decision and it’s one of those things where it seems surreal.”
At just 28 years old, Ryan leaves the sport and looks forward to appreciating the more laid back lifestyle.
“I can sleep regular amounts nowadays, I can have full two-day weekends, there’s a lot of things, I look forward to not being tired all the time, especially the Olympic years; I’d go home and sometimes I couldn’t function because I was so tired so, I’m excited about not having that feeling but, there’s so many things that I’m going to miss from this sport that makes it a double-edged sword.”
Ryan says coaching isn’t in his future, but he still hopes to give back to Canadian swimming.
“I think if I can take a leadership role within Swimming Canada that would be fantastic and hopefully influence our men’s team to do even better in the future.”
Cochrane will go down as one of the greatest swimmers in the history of our country, and has nothing but praise for the city that raised him.
“We have the best staff, the best coaching, this facility, I don’t think I might’ve stayed in the sport as long anywhere else, but I’m just so thankful for that support and it’s very bittersweet.”