DURHAM, N.C. – Former NCAA champion and current Duke University medical student Abby Johnston announced Wednesday her retirement from the sport of diving.
“I almost retired at 22,” Johnston wrote in a letter released by USA Diving. “With a silver medal in hand, it seemed like the smartest decision. But my love of the sport kept me from walking away and thus, I embarked on another Olympic quest with new goals and different challenges.
Today, as I officially trade in my suit for a white doctor’s coat, I am so glad I didn’t retire in 2012, a time that many would consider the pinnacle of my career. For me, it has never been about the accolades. I take pride in the unparalleled friendships, life lessons, and experiences that diving has afforded me.”
Read Johnston’s complete letter regarding her retirement here.
A two-time Olympian and 2012 silver medalist in women’s synchronized three-meter diving, Johnston enjoyed an impressive career while reaching the highest level in the sport. She captured the first national title for the Duke women’s swimming and diving program with a win on the three-meter springboard at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The 2013 Duke graduate wrapped up her collegiate career as a four-time All-American and five-time ACC champion, in addition to receiving a postgraduate scholarship from the ACC.
Johnston made history along with fellow American Kelci Bryant at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, claiming the United States’ first Olympic medal ever in a synchronized diving event. The duo also ended a 12-year medal drought for the Americans in all diving events.
A native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Johnston earned her second Olympic berth as an individual in 2016. She reached the women’s individual three-meter springboard finals in Rio, finishing 12th overall.
Following the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games, Johnston returned to Durham to continue her studies at the Duke University School of Medicine. Johnston married Sam McGrath, a graduate assistant coach with the Duke football program, during the summer of 2017.