27 June 2018

Paralympic champion Wylie announces retirement from swimming

Matt Wylie described becoming Paralympic champion in 2016 as his greatest achievement to date after announcing his retirement from competitive swimming.

The Rio S9 50m freestyle gold medallist revealed his decision to step away from competing following a recent classification review that saw him move to an S10.

The City of Sunderland swimmer holds three British records, the first of which came in 2012 when, aged just 15, he broke the S9 1500m freestyle record.

He went on to establish himself on the national team, enjoying a highly successful 2016 by becoming European and Paralympic S9 50m freestyle champion.

“Swimming has provided me with hundreds of opportunities that I will be eternally grateful for,” said the 21-year-old. 

“British Para Swimming and UK Sport have provided me with much needed support and guidance, helping me achieve my dream of representing my country at a Paralympic Games in Rio 2016. Representing my country at such a prestigious event will be a memory I keep close to my heart forever.


Becoming a Paralympic champion is something I had dreamed about since I was 11 years old, watching the Paralympics in Beijing at home.

Matt Wylie

“For me achieving this goal has been the greatest achievement in my life to date.”

Wylie now aims to complete his law degree but hopes to still dedicate time to supporting young swimming stars in their bid to achieve similar success.                                                         

He added. “The decision to retire has been something I have thought long and hard about over the last few weeks.

“A recent reclassification has seen me move from an event where I have podium aspirations to one where I am unlikely to make a top eight.

Wylie became Paralympic and European champion in 2016

“The process of going through a change in classification has drained me of my passion for the sport that I held so close to me.

“I feel I cannot compete to the high standard I put upon myself. I understand the importance of robust classification but in this instance it has gone against me.

“This is something I have discussed at length with my coach, Danny Thompson, who has supported me through this process.” 

Chris Furber, national performance director for British Para-Swimming, said: “Matt has made an enormous contribution to para-swimming. He is one of the most professional and dedicated athletes I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.

“Classification is a key part of all para-sport, and whilst we respect and support Matt’s decision he will certainly be missed by the athletes, coaches and staff on the team.

“With his drive to succeed I have no doubts he will have a fantastic career away from swimming, just as he did in the pool. And we hope he will continue to be part of British Para-Swimming in some capacity in the future.”

Share this page

Related News