The Spaniard ends a career that included two Olympic medals and a record 23 podium finishes at international championships.
“Today is no ordinary day. It’s a day of change, evolution and learning. I’m happy and calm to have taken this decision. Above all, grateful.”
Ona Carbonell made this announcement about her retirement in an Instagram post on May 19.
Carbonell, a Spanish swimming hero, holds the record for the most medals ever won at a World Championship (23), along with two Olympic medals from her three Olympic appearances. In the women’s duet competition at London 2012, the Spaniard and Andrea Fuentes took home the silver medal and the bronze in the team competition.
She placed fourth in the duet with Gemma Mengual at Rio 206. Less than a year after the birth of her first child, Carbonell competed in her final Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
The 2009 world champion, who is now 32, has served as an inspiration in the struggle for equality and the availability of facilities for women to return to the workforce. She has spoken highly of how the sport has influenced her life, stating, “They have taught me values, humility in defeat and victory, effort and companionship. […] The importance of respect and mutual support and getting up after losing.”