Double Paralympic gold medallist Georgie Hermitage of Great Britain has decided to hang up her spikes. The 30-year-old announced her retirement having struggled with recurring injuries in the past two seasons.
Hermitage was at the peak of her career at the Rio Paralympic Games where she bagged gold in 100m and 400m T37. After calling it a day, she revealed the decision was driven by a desire to spend time with daughter Tilly.
“It is a heart-breaking decision to retire but despite our best efforts, my body isn’t recovering from injuries which means I’m not able to train or compete to the level that’s required. We have thrown the kitchen sink at trying to deal with the injuries, but they keep recurring,” Hermitage told ParalympicsGB.
“Sport is a lovely thing, but it is not everything. I want to be able to go out for a jog with Tilly. I don’t want to miss those lovely moments with her,” said the Guildford-born star, who was inspired to pursue sport soon after London 2012 and scooped 400m T37 and 4x100m T35-38 relay gold on World Para Athletics Championships debut in Doha in 2015.
“I’m at a point in my life when that is the most important thing. Tilly is so excited to get her mum back.
“I would have loved to have gone to Tokyo, but I would have been half the athlete I know I can be. The pain and stress it was causing me meant I wasn’t enjoying it as much,” added Hermitage, who at the Rio Paralympic Games saw off French and Chinese threats to claim double glory.
At Rio, she also emerged from the Games a triple medallist after 4x100m T35-38 relay silver with Kadeena Cox, Sophie Hahn and Maria Lyle.
Another double at the 2017 World Championships in London saw her complete the sweep of Paralympic, world and European titles in the 100m and 400m and would prove a fitting finale.
Para Athletics Head Coach Paula Dunn said: “Georgie has achieved so much during her career and made that time count. She has been a great teammate and her retirement will leave a huge gap in the team, not just in terms of her athletic performance, but also as Georgie the individual.
"Not only has she achieved great results on the track, but she has had to balance that with raising her daughter, Tilly. It is not an easy balance at all, but like us, Tilly will be so proud of what her mum has achieved during her athletics career and I wish them all the best for the future.”