17 October 2018

London 2012 champion Craig retires

London 2012 gold medallist Josef Craig has announced his retirement from para swimming after six years at the top.

The 21-year-old stormed on to the world stage in front of 17,000 at the London Aquatics Centre, claiming gold in the 400m freestyle S7 final, while he added bronze in Rio four years later in the S8 100m.

Craig also won two World Championship golds and a silver in 2013, plus two European Championship silver medals and two bronze.

Craig was re-classified in 2014 from S7 to S8 but he still continued to frequent the medal podium and is now excited for the next chapter of his life.


The proudest moment in my career was most definitely being awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace and by the Queen herself.

“My reclassification a few years ago played no part in my decision to retire. For me, it’s time for a new challenge and I know that if I apply myself in the same way I did to swimming and give it 110 per cent, then I know I will be successful.

“I went through a lot and for a long time. I now want to use the platform and influence I have to help those facing mental issues.

“I want to use my journey as evidence that it is possible to turn things around, no matter how bad a situation may appear.”

Josef now hopes to make a return to education and is planning to complete a foundation year studying sports management at Northumbria University.

Additionally, he is making a return to the pool where it all started for him but in a different capacity, teaching and coaching the potential stars of the future.

“I want to pass on my knowledge that I’ve picked up in the pool over the years,” he said.

“To be able to help individuals gain an important life skill and also go on to achieve will be really rewarding. I’ve had lots of experience under a variety of coaches and learnt how to and how not to coach people – I hope to be the right blend.”

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