Olympic Swimmer, Alice Dearing, Global, International

Olympic Swimmer Alice Dearing Retires, Says Her Time In The Sport Is ‘Finished’

After making history as the first Black woman on Great Britain's Olympic team, Dearing retires after 18 years in competitive swimming.

Alice Dearing, the trailblazing swimmer who made history as the first Black woman to represent Great Britain’s Olympic team, has announced her retirement from competitive swimming.

The Olympian, who celebrates her 27th birthday today, expressed that she is moving into a new year without the burden of worrying about swimming. Speaking to Sky Sports News, Dearing shared that her decision to retire stemmed from her failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics, which was one of her primary goals after the Tokyo Olympics. She acknowledged that her “time was done in the sport,” and the prospect of preparing “felt like a mountain to climb.”

Dearing hopes that her journey has demonstrated that swimming is “for everybody,” stating, “It was incredible to be able to compete for Team GB…but also helping make history for Black people in Britain.”

The Olympic athlete has taken time to reflect on her future endeavors, eventually breaking the news to her followers on Instagram, “After 18 years in competitive swimming, I’m moving on to other ventures,” she captioned a series of photos. “Thank you to the sport, which has given me everything which I hold dear. The next adventure awaits.”

While Dearing is leaving competitive swimming behind, she clarified that it would be “false” to say she’s “done” with the sport entirely. As a co-founder of the Black Swimming Association, she remains committed to empowering individuals to discover swimming as “a basic life skill.” Dearing has delved into the issues Black people face in swimming through a Sky Sports News documentary, Aquaphobia, exploring topics such as bone density, drownings, and other challenging conversations. As previously mentioned by BLACK ENTERPRISE, the Tokyo Olympics presented challenges for the swim champ when she was denied wearing a Soul Cap. Dearing challenged the ban and later became a partner of the brand, which was approved in 2022 for competitive swimming.

The former Olympic swimmer, who placed 19th in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Women’s 10km event, revealed her plans to explore opportunities in esports and gaming while continuing to work with her partners. In 2023, Dearing was invited to the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore to discuss the integration of physical sports with the virtual world.