The legacy of Federica and Femke
“Greatness recognizes greatness”
While most athletes usually decide to announce their retirement at the end of the season, this year several big name swimming careers ended with this month. Of course, the pandemic played a role in some of those decisions, as no one liked swimming their last run in an empty pool like Tokyo 2020 was.
Femke heemskerk, Julia Hassler, and of course Federica pellegrini, the world record holder in the 200 freestyle, who ended her career in Italy, during the Italian Championships. After winning his 130th Italian title, Pellegrini was joined in the pool by six of his historic rivals: Femke Heemskerk, Sarah Sjostrom, Camelia Potec, Sara Isakovic, Evelyn Verraszto and Alice mizzau.
All of these great athletes showed their love and admiration for Federica and after the ceremony each of them posted on IG a photo from that night and the many races against Federica over the years.
Not only were the swimmers cheering at Federica’s last dance, indeed different legends of Italian sport were there to celebrate her career, such as Alberto Tomba, triple Olympic gold medalist in skiing, or Daniele Lupo, who won silver at the Rio Olympics in beach volleyball. Federica and her results have inspired many people around the world inside and outside the pool.
Not even time to dry the tears for Federica who only 3 days after another great European swimming personality took the plunge for the last time. ISL final in Eindhoven was 34-year-old’s last race Femke heemskerk, which ended in style with the victory of Energy Standard of season 3.
A rain of love also filled the Internet this time. Many teammates and rivals have shown their appreciation for Femke’s career and for her kindness.
Because results, medals, time and performance are important, but sport is above all a question of heritage.