Reid pictured ahead of the Rio Games last year. Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Waving the white flag

'I'm a fighter, but this fight got me' - Irish Olympian Reid calls time on her career

The triathlete has announced she is retiring from the sport due to injuries.

IRISH TRIATHLETE AILEEN Reid has announced her retirement.

The 35-year-old represented Ireland in the triathlon at two Olympic Games — London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Reid also competed for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games and the World Series, where she claimed three podium finishes including a silver in 2013.

Those achievements saw the Derry native ranked in the world top 10 for a three-year period.

However, just 12 months after finishing 21st at the Olympics, Reid says she is “waving the white flag” due to persistent injuries.

“Illness and injury are inevitable in a sports person’s career and I am a fighter,” Reid wrote, in a statement released on Twitter this morning.

“But this fight got me. I wanted to end on a high, a positive. I wanted to stand on that podium one more time and it was my dream to hear Amhran na bhFiann with the tricolour (or Northern Ireland flag for that matter) flying in front of me.

“From time to time, I remind myself that I was good once and not to give up. But the light is fading at the end of the tunnel and my belief that I would be able to overcome this injury and be the athlete I once was, is disappearing.

“I don’t want to be half-good at anything, and so it’s time to wave the white flag.”

Aileen Reid Representing Ireland in the triathlon at the 2016 Olympics. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

“I’ve been through the stages of grieving,” she added. “It’s scary time leaving something behind, someone I was, something that I did that will probably define me forever. To leave people, memories, support, and sponsors. The friends I have made along the way. But now, I’ve accepted it.

The real world and its exciting prospects beckons. The future of triathlon in Ireland is bright and I hope to support developing athletes where I can.

“My old swim squad is producing endless talent and I’ve been helping out with the junior swimmers, athletes and triathletes on the Gold Coast, so I hope to help coach and mentor future stars myself. If my years of experience making all the mistakes I did can be of benefit to someone!

“So there it is, 75 caps for Ireland. Two Olympic Games. Commonwealth Games. Three Years in the world top 10. And a handful of medals at World Series. ”

Reid went on to thank her “army” of supporters and all those who helped her along the way.

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