Anderson announces retirement

16th October 2012

Six-time Paralympic Champion James Anderson has called time on his swimming career that has spanned two decades.

At 49-years old, Anderson was the oldest member of the swimming team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and competed at his first international in 1994.

For his dedication to the sport he was awarded an MBE in the 2005 New Years Honours list and then an OBE in the 2009 Birthday Honours list.

On his retirement Anderson said: “I’ve had a wonderful career and feel it is time to go out on a high. Having competed at my sixth Paralympic Games on home soil in London it doesn’t come much higher. I would like to thank all those who have helped me over the last 21 years from coaches to swimmers, support services and especially my parents.

“I still hope to be involved in disability sport and will look at other options for participation and possibly coaching. I’ve played boccia in the past so I may look to help out, and maybe participate, at a local level. I’ve also been involved with the regional swimming squad in the east of Scotland for the last few months and will look to keep supporting this.

“I hope my story can inspire more young people with a disability to get involved in sport and in particular those who may fit the lower classifications. I’ve loved every minute of my time involved in swimming and there is so much to gain from being involved in competitive sport for any young person with a disability.”

National Performance Director John Atkinson added: “Jim has had an outstanding career that spanned across six Paralympic Games. He has been a great asset to the team throughout his career and has inspired and influenced the next generation of Jim Andersons.

“His career is testament to his dedication to swimming and his spirit. From myself and everyone involved with Disability Swimming we wish him well for the future.”

Paul Wilson, Scottish Swimming’s Disability Performance Development Manager said: “Jim has been an inspiration to Scottish and British swimmers, young and old over the last 21 years. His success on the world stage has been phenomenal, in particular his run of six Paralympic Games and clean sweep of four gold medals in Athens 2004.

“I would like to congratulate Jim on this international success while representing Great Britain and thank him for his unwavering support of disability swimming in Scotland. Everyone at Scottish Swimming would like to wish Jim all the best in his future endeavours.”

Kerry Wood, Stirling Integrated Swimming Coach added: “I have enjoyed coaching Jim over the past four years and to be part of the team for Jim’s sixth Paralympic Games was a very special honour. 

“Having Jim as part of the programme in Stirling was challenging, rewarding and encouraged me and the other swimmers to become experts in the world of disability swimming.  I am sure that Jim will encourage more swimmers with lower class disabilities to take up swimming and his story will inspire others to remain in the sport for longer.”

Anderson’s last competition will be at the DSE National Short Course Championships in November.