Australian Nick D’Arcy calls time on controversial international swimming career

Controversial Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy has announced his retirement from the sport.

D’Arcy represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and last year’s Olympics in London.

But the 26-year-old Queenslander’s career was tainted by his assault of former swimmer Simon Cowley in a Sydney bar, that led to his dumping from the 2008 Beijing Olympic team.

He pleaded guilty to a grievous bodily harm charge, and later declared bankruptcy when he was sued by Cowley.

Nick D’Arcy says it was a tough decision he’s been weighing up over the past six months and he will now pursue a medical career.

“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while now,” D’Arcy said.

“Obviously it’s not a small decision so it’s one that I’ve been weighing up for the past six months or so – but yeah I finally got around to I suppose making a decision.

“Obviously it’s pretty difficult to leave such an important part of your life behind, but I think that’s one of the things you’ve got to do when you’re moving onto new things.”

The controversial swimmer acknowledged his career had had its share of highs and lows.

“Obviously there would a be a few things that I would have done differently but yeah I think hindsight’s always 20/20 and unfortunately there’s no point in looking back. So to me it’s just looking on to the future,” he said.

D’Arcy said he could no longer devote the time necessary to the sport.

“Swimming’s always been something that’s fun and enjoyable for me and something I’ve just done because I’m passionate about,” D’Arcy said.

“I still enjoy it. I still love watching it and I still love being a part of it but it’s one of those things it’s either all or nothing and I’ve gotten to a point now where I need to start moving on with my life in a more career-orientated academic direction.”

D’Arcy’s former coach Brian Stehr said the butterfly swimmer’s potential was never fully realised.

“I think it’s a shame that we didn’t see the best of Nick quite frankly, even though at one point in time he was ranked number one in the world,” Stehr said.

“I mean Nick was very strong mentally, and that’s certainly what got him through that but he had some things that came out of that that impacted on him emotionally over that time.

“That would have affected his preparation for those major events for sure.”

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