Two-time Pac-12 Women’s Swimmer of the Year and US National Team swimmer Ella Eastin announced this morning that she is retiring from swimming due to a condition called dysautonomia.
According to a release from the Pac-12 Conference, the condition could be a result of long-haul COVID-19.
Also known as autonomic dysfunction, dysautonomia causes the autonomic nervous system to not function as it should, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The ANS controls involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion that can affect cardiovascular health, energy, mental stability and more.
According to Eastin’s Instagram post announcing her retirement, the condition incapacitated her.
“I lost my ability to manage daily activities and had to be taken care of by family and friends,” she wrote. “I couldn’t live a normal life, much less one of a professional athlete.”
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ella Eastin (@ellaeastin)
A post shared by Ella Eastin (@ellaeastin)
Eastin had a decorated career at Stanford University, where she won 12 NCAA swimming championships in individual events and relays while earning 20 All-America honors. At the 2018 NCAA Championships, she was named Swimmer of the Meet. In 2019, she became the first woman to win four NCAA titles in the 400-yard individual medley while also helping Stanford to their third-straight NCAA team title.
Internationally, Eastin swam for the United States at the 2017 World University Games where she won a gold medal and multiple silvers. She also competed at the 2016 World Short Course Championships. She nearly made the World Championship team in 2017, but was disqualified in a controversial call at the 2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championship Trials.
Eastin had been one to watch heading into the Olympic Trials next month as a possibility to make the US Olympic Team.
“I have been blessed by my swimming career in that it gave me lifelong friends, priceless experiences, and prepared me to take on any challenge that may come my way,” Eastin continued in the post. “I fell in love with the water at a young age, and through this experience, I have fallen in love with it again.”
Eastin will now focus on postgraduate studies, for which she has received a one-time $10,000 grant to further her studies. With it, Eastin hopes to become a registered nurse.