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Adlington says encouraging children to swim 'would overtake every achievement of career'

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.

"Would overtake every achievement of my career if I could get every child in Britain to swim."

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.

Timeline: Rebecca Adlington

• 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.

Rebecca Adlington at the London 2012 Victory Parade for Team GB and Paralympics GB athletes through central London Credit: Paul Gilham/PA Wire

• 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.

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Adlington confirms 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.

I hate the word retire. I love swimming but as a competitive element and elite athlete I won't compete any more.

I'll always be swimming even when I am 90 years old.

– Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington's international career

  • August 2008 - Won double Olympic gold in Beijing with victory in the 800m and 400m freestyle.
  • December 2008 - Came 3rd in the Sports Personality of the Year 2008.
  • January 2009 - Awarded an OBE by the Queen in the New Years Honours of 2009
  • October 2010 - Adlington claims Commonwealth gold in both the 800m and 400m freestyle in Delhi.
  • August 2012 – Had to settle for Olympic Bronze in the 800m and 400m freestyle in London.
  • In total Adlington won seven gold medals, three silver medals and seven bronze medals in international competition.

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Heroes of London 2012 to perform for Children in Need

Around 20 figures from Team GB and ParalympicsGB will be taking part in a video for the annual TV fundraising extravaganza Children in Need.

They include Olympic stars Tom Daley, Rebecca Adlington, Nicola Adams and Louis Smith.

Paralympian heroes David Weir and Ellie Simmonds are also taking part in the video, set to the Basement Jaxx track Do Your Thing.

Children in Need takes place on November 16.

Reaction to Rebecca Adlington's storming heat swim

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