Four-time gold-medal Olympian Krayzelburg retires from swimming

McLEAN, Va. -- Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg, captain of the U.S. swimming team at the 2004 Athens Games, officially retired Friday.

Krayzelburg, 32, was plagued by injuries, including three surgeries on his left shoulder, though he did try to come back after the Athens Olympics. He never regained the form that made him the world's dominant backstroker.

Krayzelburg won three golds at Sydney in 2000 -- the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, as well as the 400 medley relay. He just missed winning a medal in the 100 back at Athens, though he did pick up his fourth gold by swimming the preliminaries of the 400 medley relay.

"I sincerely want to thank all of my coaches, teammates, and competitors through my years in swimming," he said in a statement. "Although most consider swimming an individual sport, there is absolutely no way I could have achieved my success without these people challenging, motivating, encouraging, and supporting me along the way."

Krayzelburg plans to stay involved at the pool. He already founded a swimming school in Los Angeles and was a co-founding member of www.SwimRoom.com, the sport's first social networking site.

"I am now excited to use my success as an Olympic swimmer as a platform to bring others to the sport," he said. "I look forward to sharing my passion for swimming with others as I enter the next phase of my life."

A native of Ukraine, Krayzelburg came to the U.S. with his parents in the waning days of the Soviet Union. He learned English, became an American citizen in 1995 and went on to set world records in both backstroke events.

Now married with twin daughters, Krayzelburg plans to be in Beijing to support the U.S. team at the Olympics.