Ariella Kaeslin announces retirement

SwissCup 2010

Switzerlands top gymnast Ariella Kaeslin has announced her retirement from gymnastics. Summary of the announcements on the Swiss Gymnastics Federation and the Swiss Cup website:

After 10 years on the Swiss National Team, Ariella Kaeslin announced her immediate retirement from gymnastics. She has been the most successful Swiss gymnast to date, winning numerous titles and was named Swiss Sportswoman of the Year three times.  She retires with a year to go until London 2012 and 3 month ahead of the World Championships in Tokyo. Kaeslin leaves the gymnastics world with many achievements:

  • Beijing Olympics 2008: 5th on vault and 18th in the All Around
  • London Worlds 2009: Silver on vault and 8th in the All Around
  • Europeans 2005: 4th vault
  • Europeans 2006: 6th vault
  • Europeans 2008: 4th vault
  • Europeans 2009: Gold on vault and Bronze in the All Around
  • Europeans 2010: 5th on vault and 6th in AA
  • Rotterdam Worlds 2010: 8th AA and 4th Vault
  • Europeans 2011: Bronze on vault and 8th in AA

She was the first Swiss gymnast to win an all-around medal at the European Championships (bronze in 2009), the first to win a European title ( Gold on Vault, 2009) and the first to win a World medal (Silver on vault at the 2009 Worlds). She has really raised the bar for the upcoming Swiss gymnasts.

Kaeslin cites her reason to leave gymnastics as being that she wishes to leave while she is both mentally and physically well, she explains that she no longer has the motivation or her body isn’t quite in it. She made the decision after taking a seven week break from the gym and decided not to return to the Swiss National Training Centre. She is looking forward to her new life, especially travelling.

Felix Stingelin, head of the Swiss Gymnastics Federation, regrets that the best gymnast has decided to retire before the Olympic qualifications in Tokyo in October but he fully respects her decision to retire. “Thanks to Kaeslin’s gymnasts achievements, the sport moved into the media in Switzerland. For many gymnasts was and is a role model”. Congratulations to Kaeslin for doing so, I’ve really grown fond of her over the last number of years.

The translation is odd, but take from it what you can, hopefully I have made sense of it all. Most recently Kaeslin won bronze on Vault at the European Championships and came 8th in the All Around competition at Worlds in 2010 and 4th on Vault. As explained in the announcement, the National Team will “re-form” around Giulia Steingruber. I saw Giulia at the Glasgow World Cup, she looks promising enough to lead the National Team.What a pity that she will not be holding out for the 2011 Worlds or for London 2012. A beautiful gymnast, I’ll be sorry to see her go, as will many. I’ll also miss those butterfly leotards.

A video of Ariella announcing her retirement at a press conference – a translation would be much appreciated

Martina from Gymnastics United has so kindly translated the video and allowed Full Twist to post her translation:

I am a person who’s always been like an open book so far and honestly it has not been easy for me to make this decision. But I listened to my body and to my heart, and therefore I today announce my official retirement from the sport of gymnastics. It has been a longer process …(fights tears_…sorry….(fights more tears).. this has been the most wonderful career someone could dream of.  For 20 years..more for my whole life I put all my passion into gymnastics and I have had so many wonderful moments. This is the best that could have happened to me and I think I have been born as a gymnast and even if I announce my retirement now I will always stay a gymnast.


Interviewer: Ariella, now you declared your retirement….it`s out….so…how do you feel now?

Ariella: Honestly a little stone fell of my heart now. It has been difficult to speak it out. But now I feel better, and now I am looking forward to my life….my second life. I am full of power…full of ideas…..things are bubbling inside of me.

Interviewer: You say it is bubbling inside of you. What will you do now, what are your next plans?

Ariella: First of all rest. And then take things step by step. It will sure take some time until I will make a decision and I have truely realised this step…and then things go on.

Interviewer: And now you have time for different things outside of the gym. So do you have any dream you want to fulfill? Now you have the time….

Ariella: Yeah….I have a lot of dreams and a lot of wishes…but…I have x ideas but I don`t want to unveil anything right now.

Interviewer: And in the direction of travelling – is there anything?

Ariella: Yes, travelling for sure, but everything at it`s time.

Photo:Credit: Photo/Jasmin Schneebeli-Wochner, courtesy of the Swiss Gymnastics Federation

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