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Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington has thanked all those who have supported her throughout her career.
In a series of tweets and in a longer article on her website Rebecca thanked, "all my swimming teaches/coaches when I was young. You made it so much fun!"
In a statement connected to her retirement she also said, "To everyone in Mansfield who has believed in me from day one. It will always be my home. I'm a proud Mansfield girl!!"
Speaking to ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott, Rebecca Adlington has said she will stay involved with swimming as she retires from competition.
She said; "swimming is my passion, it's been that since I was young. Since i was four years old, getting in the pool I just absolutely loved it. I want to stay involved with that in all levels."
The double Olympic champion also explained why she is retiring at just 23-years-old saying, "women tend to be four years younger then men [on the team] and especially for my event, for distance swimming you are a lot younger."
Michael Phelps, the 18-times Olympic gold medal winner, has paid his tribute to Rebecca Adlington's "fantastic career."
Rebecca Adlington's long term coach Bill Furniss has paid tribute to the swimmer as she announces her retirement:
Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington has confirmed she is retiring from competitive swimming.
The 23-year-old's future has been the subject of much debate since she claimed two bronze medals at the London Olympics last summer.
At a press conference today in London, the Mansfield-born swimmer confirmed she was bringing to an end a glittering career that has brought her Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles.
Rebecca Adlington has announced her retirement from competitive swimming but says she would like to stay involved in swimming and help bring on the next generation.
She said she wants to encourage children into the pool and hopes she can inspire youngsters to get into swimming.
The Olympic medallist went on to say Beijing 2008 was her career highlight. She also paid tribute to her coach Bill Furniss, saying her medals are his as well.
Olympians have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to Rebecca Adlington and to wish her luck as she retires from competitive swimming.
Boxer Anthony Ogogo, heptathlete Louise Hazel and open water swimmer Kari-anne Payne tweeted:
• Born on 17th February 1989 in Mansfield.
• Joined Nova Centurian swimming club at the age of 12 where she met her long term coach Bill Furniss.
• Adlington has won titles at Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth level making her the most successful British swimmer of the modern era.
• Adlington's victory in the 2008 Olympic 800m freestyle final broke swimming’s longest standing world record with a time of 8:14.10.
• Adlington became the first British swimmer to win more than one gold medal at a single Olympic Gamers since Henry Taylor in 1908.
Latest ITV News reports
Britain's double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington has retired from competition to concentrate on grassroots coaching,.
Team GB swimmer Rebecca Adlington is due to make a "major announcement" next week with many speculating the 23-year-old is set to retire.