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."
Britain's double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington has retired from competition to concentrate on grassroots coaching,.Read the full story ›
Becky Adlington's unforgettable success in Beijing inspired a generation to get in the pool and swim. Her down to earth personality and remarkable career achievements have made her a national treasure. Becky's vision for the future of grass roots swimming in this country will create a wonderful legacy from one of our greatest Olympians. I have no doubt this vision will be pursued with the same drive, dedication and determination as Becky consistently displayed in the pool.
Michael Phelps, the 18-times Olympic gold medal winner, has paid his tribute to Rebecca Adlington's "fantastic career."
Our paths have crossed many times over the years - at meets and through a shared sponsor.
Her accomplishments speak for themselves, she has been a great representative for British Swimming and the sport overall. I congratulate her on a fantastic career and wish her all the best in the future.
Rebecca Adlington's long term coach Bill Furniss has paid tribute to the swimmer as she announces her retirement:
Proud to have been Rebecca's coach the same qualities that made her the best ever will ensure success in everything she does
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:
@beckadlington All the best for your retirement Becks. You'll go down as an absolute legend in the pool. Good luck in the future love x
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.
• 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.
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.
- 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.