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Although only 23 years old, Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington has decided to give up competitive swimming, leaving it to the up and coming younger female swimmers.

Although she plans on staying involved at an elite level without competing, Adlington wants to focus on the sport at what she calls a grassroots level as well.

“When you hear the statistics of people that can’t swim in the UK they shock me,” writes Adlington on her website’s diary. “Not only have I had so much fun within the sport, but I firmly believe it’s a life skill. Knowing how to swim can save lives. We live on an island, surrounded by sea, lakes and rivers and unfortunately in this country a lot of floods!”

The challenge she has given herself is to have every child in the UK leave primary school able to swim 25 metres. In the process of launching Becky Adlington’s SwimStars, Adlington plans to partner with schools, councils and companies to find ways to achieve her goal.

“It will be my biggest ever challenge in swimming,” she says.

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