Two-time Olympic javelin champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova has announced her retirement.
Spotakova, who won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016, last competed at the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday. She is also the first woman in history to win three Olympic medals in the javelin.
World champion 🥇Osaka ’07
Olympic champion 🥇Beijing ’08
World record 72.28m 🌍 Stuttgart ’08
World champion 🥇Daegu ’11
Olympic champion 🥇London ’12
World champion 🥇London ’17
Czech javelin legend Barbora Spotakova announces retirement following career spanning 23 years.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) September 10, 2022
“Every fairy tale comes to an end, and mine had a wonderful happy ending in the form of a bronze medal at the European Championships in Munich, symbolically closing the circle,” Spotakova said at a press conference in Prague on Friday.
“My body was clearly telling me that it was time to quit.”
The 41-year-old said she has no real immediate plans other than to focus on being a mother to her two boys.
“I want to be a mom now,” she said. “The boys are nine and four, and I feel they need me more than ever before.”
In future, though, Spotakova would like to stay involved in athletics in some capacity.
“I would like to be involved in Dukla Prague (the athletics club to which she belongs) and pass on my experience to young athletes,” she said. “I believe I have enough of them and I have something to pass on to them. But now I need to rest for a while and gain energy.”
Spotakova, who set the world record of 72.28 metres in 2008. The world record is also the longest-standing in the women’s javelin. She had won gold at the world championships in 2007, 2011 and 2017 and silver in 2009.
She took the European honours in 2014, adding a silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010 and this year.
Having started out as a heptathlete, finishing fourth at the 2000 World U20 Championhips, Spotakova’s first international accolade was the 2005 World University Games title. The final addition to her medal cabinet, meanwhile, was European bronze, which she earned in Munich last month at the age of 41.