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Olympic swim champ Steffen has no regrets in Rio over retirement

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Olympic swimming champion Britta Steffen said Friday she has no regrets retiring three years ago and is ready to enjoy the Rio Games as a spectator after four previous Olympics as an athlete.

"I got on the plane in Berlin and thought ‘you are going to your fifth Olympics.‘ You are totally relieved, you have no stress or pressure, it is unique, and you can take a look at it all from a completely different perspective," she told dpa after arriving in Brazil earlier in the day.

"I am really looking forward to the competition and will not only watch swimming but the whole programme the Olaympics have to offer."

Steffen won 50m and 100m freestyle gold 2008 in Beijing and has a relay bronze from Sydney 2000. The 32-year-old also has two golds, two silvers and a bronze from world championships between 2007 and 2011, and retired in 2013.

Steffen is in Rio by invitation of a sponsor and will visit events along with other former greats such as Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, German tennis legend Steffi Graf and American sprinter Maurice Greene.

Steffen named the Olympic experience unique, saying: "I always compared the Olympics to a big holiday camp or a hostel ... Its a lot of fun and something really unique."

She is also doing a video diary of her planned 11 days in Brazil, and will have no regrets if new Australian star Cate Campbell betters her last world record, in the 50m freestyle, after snatching the 100m from her earlier in the year.

"I will definitely watch the 50m freestyle. I still hold the world record but I think its days are numbered," Steffen said. "If Cate wins the 100m free the 50m world record will definitely be beaten cause she will be so mentally strong that she can do it," Steffen said.

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