Five-time Olympic Games medallist Alicia Coutts has contemplated an immediate retirement from swimming, declaring “if I retired tomorrow, I would be satisfied with what I’ve done in the sport”.
Canberra swimmer Coutts also hit out at the sport’s critics, saying that constant criticism was “disheartening” as she weighs up her future.
It was speculated last week that Swimming Australia had blown its budget and would be unable to pay athletes up to $300,000 in performance bonuses.
Coutts is yet to hear from the governing body and is training for the Australian short-course championships in Adelaide next month.
The 27-year-old won five medals at the Olympics in 2012, she also won two gold medals at the Pan Pacs in August and is an eight-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
But she says she is fighting to keep her passion and is unsure whether she wants to continue to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“I’m looking towards Rio and if I swim until then, I’ll be done after that,” Coutts said.
“I have days when I think, ‘Yeah, I can swim until Rio. It’s not that far away.’ But then other days I’m ready to retire straight away.