Olympic Medalist And Seven-Time World Champion Katie Hoff Announces Retirement

Katie Hoff [Photo: Speedo]

The effects of blood clots in her lungs have prevented Katie Hoff from logging the necessary training to prolong her career, so the three-time Olympic medalist announced her retirement on Monday.

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The effects of blood clots in her lungs have prevented Katie Hoff from logging the necessary training to prolong her career, so the three-time Olympic medalist announced her retirement on Monday.

Comments

Bad Anon

Any video links especially of her double IMs world titles from ’05 and ’07?

aswimfan

Hoff had stellar career despite “what could have been” in Beijing.
Some swimmers are unfortunately destined to peak and delivered their best results in between the Olympics and 2007 worlds was her crowning achievement.

And unfortunately, individual Olympics gold is still regarded by not only general public but also swimming fans community as the ultimate yardstick of a swimmers’ greatness.

At least Hoff tried and swam all her events she qualified for, although in retrospect many questioned the wisdom behind it.
Did LZR change the whole game, would Hoff have swum all those events had thete been no LZR?
Even Ledecky is not swimming IM (yet).
Are current great swimmers learning from it and swim fewer events or will they keep continue the tradition of great multi eventers, started by Mark Spitz and Shane Gould through Caulkins, Evans, Egerszegi, Phelps, Lochte and now Hosszu (and Belmonte?) and Hagino.

Logically, swimming fewer events makes you better prepared for those events, but I really have to admire the guts of Phelps, Lochte, Hosszu and Hagino who prefer to die in glory than swimming 2 or 3 individual events.

easyspeed

Sad to hear but understandable given the health problems. All the best to Katie in her retirement!

Craig Lord

The shiny suit she hated was one thing aswimfan; the other was the psychological blow of being pipped by Rebecca Adlington in an upset result in the 400m free right up front in the program. Pellegrini was able to get back up, with 1 focus; Hoff was not and would later talk about the huge effort that went in to getting the suits on before each race (many more times for multiple swimmers but not as much for the men, Phelps et al also in jammers and leggings). It all turned out to be a touch too much but even then her Beijing 2008 result was better than the vast majority of swimmers ever achieve in Olympic waters, and that shouldn’t be forgotten. She was a winner, a world champion, a world record holder and she held sway for a while. We should honour her for all of that.

aswimfan

Craig,

The difference with Pellegrini is that the 400 free final was actually Hoff’s second psychological blow. The w400free final was in the morning of the third day, but on the previous day in the morning of the second day of swimming, both Rice and Coventry destroyed her in Hoff’s signature event and in which she was the WR holder, 400 IM.

I can never forget the shell-shocked face of Hoff at the finish of that 400 IM final. It’s hard to get up after two psychological blows in a row.

Hoff really set the new standard in 400IM, which forced her competitors to work harder than ever.

Craig Lord

Quite, aswimfan, and those competitors who beat her to bronze over 400IM in Beijing never swam faster in textile than her 2007 world record. We can’t say how things would have panned out with a difference history of suits and choice of events but we can say that Hoff emerged from the shiny suits saga as the fastest 400IM swimmer, unassisted, we’d ever seen. And that remained the case until Elizabeth Beisel set a world textile best of 4:31.76 in 2011 for the world title a year before she got thumped by the aberration of a 58.6 last 100m free by Ye Shiwen on her way to a 4:28 world record way ahead of the textile curve, all of the gain made on the one, last, stroke. One swimmer stands out as having surpassed Beisel’s 2011 best most times: Katinka Hosszu – 10 times, all since London 2012 (which was the Hungarian’s lifetime best at 23 but is now the 10th best of her career at 26, a curve like no other on the chart of all-time career curves of the best medley swimmers in history).

Bad Anon

What is also true is that the medallists for women 400IM in Beijing all wore the LZR suit including Hoff. it may seem some benefited more than others but its only fair to conclude Hoff lost to “better” or “more prepared” swimmers on the day. its unlike 2009 when it was 100% poly suits vs 50% lzr. Suffice to say ; the full extent of Hoff’s psychological breakdown in Beijing 2008 has never been fully discussed ; the role of sports psychologists critical in times like that. A replay of that 400IM final shows Hoff lost on backstroke

Craig Lord

No, I don’t see it quite that way, Bad Anon: not better nor better prepared on the day in terms of swimming because the suits skewed the result (that the core of the issue), lots of examples (not Rice and Coventry I hasten to add) who excelled well beyond pre and post-shiny when they had a buoy attached to change their angle of buoyancy and support them when their legs would otherwise have wanted to give up the ghost. I’d say those who beat her were better suited to the circumstances and faster in the circumstances on the day, sure, and yes, psychology played a part, though a ‘psychological breakdown’ is only so very relatively speaking – this an athlete who actually swam what for others would have been traffic times … but fell shy of ‘the female Phelps’ lines written for her before she left the blocks. I believe the suits contributed to her outcome; what we can;’t say is what that outcome might have been, nor what might have been relative to others – we will simply never know. If you look at the gains those who beat her in the 400IM made on the clock they were a great deal more significant than her own place relative to previous self.
In some ways subtle, in some ways not – ships passed in opposite directions:
400 free:
4:02.20 – 4:03.29 at the Games (textile 4:04.60)
and on medley:
4:31.12 to 4:31.71 at the Games (textile 4:32.89)
(so, consistent with the kind of level she was off for those 1st big 2 at the Games)
Rice: 4:29.45 (4:31 at trials) and textile 4:34.23
Coventry:
4:29.89 (4:34.25 best pre-Games) and textile 4:36.07

Bad Anon

A careful examination of the splits of the race in question shows clearly Hoff lost on the backstroke leg ; 4SECONDS slower than Coventry and 2.5 sec down on Rice … While you insist the core of the matter was the suit donned by her competitors ; Hoff had an area of weakness that was stood out on the results sheet ; a very weak backstroke leg ; even then 15yo Beisel swam a much better leg than Hoff ;not discounting the suits though

Bad Anon

Every Olympic cycle ; huge time drops aren’t surprising ; its a culmination of training focussed at that particular moment. Seebohm dropped 58.23 london 2012 a full second faster than her Shanghai best of 59.21. its not surprising to drop 4 seconds say from 4.06 to 4.02 400 free or from 4.35 to 4.31 400im. a careful analysis of your 2015 data in relation to rio2016 performances will validate my point. my prayer is that midnight finals wont affect times. Expecting someone like Le Clos to improve 400IM by 4 sec in an olympic year ~ PLAUSIBLE!

aswimfan

Craig,

Rice swam 4:33.45 (textile best) at the 2012 olympics trials, just a few months after her second shoulder surgery.
I would bet she would have been at least 4:32 or faster in Beijing in textile in her peak.

I remember reading a story how Michael Bohl (Rice’s coach) reminded Rice that Hoff would still be hard at work every time Rice was slacking off in her training.

Craig Lord

aswimfan: I was talking 2008 and what went before, not what she subsequently achieved after Jan 1 2010. The times were relatively to 2008 Olympic season. I’m sure Hoff’s coach(es) had ways of trying to motivate her, too. I’m not suggesting that Hoff or Rice would have won in textile: we will never know. The result is what it is. No going back.

Craig Lord

Not discounting the suits, indeed, BadAnon. Yes, I insist they were significant to that result and many others because I think whatever other arguments are brought up, that one remains a sure-fire cert: clear impact, no denying it, no arguing with it. The psychology; backstroke split etc are all things we can’t truly quantify. On another day in the past, Hoff would have caught both of them up on breaststroke – she didn’t and the breaststroke was as impactful to the result –
Hoff – 2007 , 37.40; 38.18 breaststroke; in Beijing 38.58; 38.22… now look at Rice’s gain: 37.40 and 38.18 Beijing…. 40.80; 40.85 Melbourne 2007.

aswimfan

Craig,

It’s true that Hoff seem to have made made little gain on LZR in 400 IM or 400 free in Beijing (or even slower than her trials), but in 200 free she broke her American record by more than a second in the trials and even went a touch faster in Beijing.
200 IM is different matter as it was swum after 200 free on the same day, she must have been spent physically and mentally, not unlike Lochte who lost 200 IM after losing 200 back in London.

Bad Anon

Did Rice actually outsplit Hoff on breaststroke in Beijing? Race video seems to show Hoff making up ground #confusing splits

Craig Lord

Not quite BadAnon: 1:16.8 to 1:17.42 in Beijing (after 1:15.58 to 1:21.65 in Melbourne) – huge swing.

ThereaLuigi

This
” …when they had a buoy attached to change their angle of buoyancy and support them when their legs would otherwise have wanted to give up the ghost”
made me laugh 😀 I had never heard that expression before

I am one of those who think the suits helped some more than others, particularly those with weaker second-half of the race
I also think that Bowman, Phelps and the whole LZR crew got what they had coming to them. But we have already told this story.

beachmouse

I suspect that part of Hoff’s mental fragility in 2008 was that she did not have a great 2004 Olympics and ended up sick on the pool deck. Janet Evans, in a really tactless move ended up talking about smack about why the USA team who had brought someone who wasn’t ready to compete there, even though Hoff had the potential to final in at least the 400 IM based on her Trials time.

Such a talent, and a lot of people over here were hoping she’d at least name the 4×200 relay pool (and there were enough glimpses of the Katie of old in recent years that it seemed realistic ) and she’d finally get a gold that had eluded her for so long.

ThereaLuigi

Bad Anon, only 2007 and low-quality videos, but it’s the best I could find:

https://youtu.be/JQ3ftq2f9BY

https://youtu.be/VMc4xyJxsFc

Bad Anon

thanks

JMott76

Irvine ’06 200 IM (full):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW6BsbWurjA

Melbourne 400 IM (highlights):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNsxyD1KMAU

Omaha ’08 400 IM (full):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycg_Ivs-Ej8

Beijing 400 IM (highlights):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fNUiQW1aKI

Beijing 400 Free (full):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DXO1EQdB2s

Irvine ’10 4×200 Free (full):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylz_5yzo_qs

Katie Hoff (short docu):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRadadrxXoo

Bad Anon

Any link for the full length video Beijing Olympic final women 400m individual medley?

JMott76

BadAnon

Sorry, no. Used to be on craydee1975’s channel before it got removed…. luckily I’d downloaded it first (but would rather not reup for obvious reasons 🙂

Bad Anon

Oh well ; FINA and IOC police 🙁

aswimfan

There was some Australian who used to post swimming races such as Australian trials, oympics, etc. But I guess the olympics have since been taken down.

I personally find it ridiculous that we can’t watch olympics events online in their entirety even after almost 8 years. IOC is really a dinosaur who live in the past and can’t figure out how to make use of of 21st century media format.

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