In an interview with Origo Sport, Hungarian swimming legend Katinka Hosszú discussed her short and long-term goals and the new International Swimming League (ISL). She also revealed her plans for after the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hosszú will continue swimming professionally and has her eyes set on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The Iron Lady revealed her struggle with depression following her fourth-place finish in the 2012 London Olympics. For Hosszú, London “was the failure of my life. I even considered retiring. I wanted to go back to university for my Masters in Psychology.” Despite the setback, she continued to train with her ex-husband, Shane Tusup, and became the legendary Iron Lady, snagging gold medal after gold medal.
Rather than setting out to win an Olympic gold medal, she focused on hitting time targets and setting world records. As a result, the gold medals followed. Hosszú said:
It didn’t matter if someone preceded me, I just had to finish within the target time I wanted to reach.
She also spoke about her new coach and her contact with her fellow swimmers. According to Hosszú, it was difficult to “find the balance between Katka and the Iron Lady, and most of the time I was the latter. Now, I’m the Iron Lady when I train or compete, otherwise, I’m Katka. I like to talk to the other swimmers about serious subjects such as ISL or how to improve the swimming scene.”
After the World Championship, she will compete in the World Cup in Asia in August. Afterward, in autumn, she will head to the first ISL competition prior to attending the Hungarian and European championships.
When asked about her plans after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Hosszú revealed her choice to continue swimming. She said that she doesn’t “have much time left in the sport, five years if I’m lucky, we’ll see.” However, her FINA Champions Swim Series results suggest she could be even better after 30. She explained that most swimmers retire at a young age because of lack of motivation; swimming and training can be monotonous and it’s not motivating financially either.
In swimming, I’m the one in control and I want to enjoy it for a while longer.
Hosszú definitely plans “to swim in the Paris Olympics in 2024. I don’t really feel that I’ll have enough of the sport next year. I love it. (…) The only thing that could stop me before 2024 is getting pregnant. But, this isn’t really a possibility right now.” She added that even after Paris and the retirement from professional sport, she will continue to swim just for the love of it.
On her side projects, such as her swim school, swimming association and the International Swimming League and the upcoming first season of the new competition series, Hosszú said that as she reached the top in swimming she started to look for new challenges as well: “When I decided to change direction, the world suddenly opened up and the possibilities started to flow in. It wasn’t a conscious decision that I’ll continue to swim and at the same time I will build a brand, do the League, the school and the club.”
In regards to her side projects – such as the swim school, swimming association, International Swimming League and upcoming first season of the new competition series – Hosszú explained that she started to look for new challenges after reaching the top in swimming: “When I decided to change direction, the world suddenly opened up and the possibilities started to flow in. Continuing to swim while also building a brand and doing the League, school and club wasn’t a conscious decision.”