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Odiham Olympian Danson retires from international hockey

Alex Danson at a hockey coaching event in Fleet - photo by Simon McLean

Hampshire hockey star Alex Danson has announced her retirement.

Alex, who's from Odiham, was captain of the gold medal winning Team GB women's hockey side at the Rio Olympics.

She suffered what's been described as a 'mild traumatic brain injury' while on holiday in Kenya in 2018, but despite what Great Britain and England Hockey have called a 'herculean effort', she's not been able to get back to playing for her country.

In a statement, she's said: "After a long 18 months but a fabulous 18 years in the sport, it's the right time for me to retire.

"It's been the most incredible journey I could have asked for, but a lot has changed. My head injury has been life-changing, also in terms of my perspective and things that have happened within my family. Throughout my career I've been 100% immersed in being an athlete, but my priorities are different now. All of that means it's the right time.

"I've known over the last couple of weeks that it was a decision I needed to come to. It's difficult because this has been my life. It'll be strange moving into something new, but I'm totally thankful and content. I have zero regrets about the way I've lived my career.

"Hockey has always been my priority, but I've come to that stage where I can't do that and it wouldn't be fair to the team. Your family are everything, there are many factors that have led to this decision. The opportunity to spend more time with my family is a gift and I look at it that way.

"Every single session in my career meant something to me, so too the people I played with, the coaches, the staff, I just wouldn't change a thing. The people I've been around have made my career, from my PE teacher who got me into the game, my mum and dad who supported me, my first team at Alton Hockey Club. I'm privileged to be ending a career in a position where I feel happy. I'm not sad, I'm really happy.

"Now, I will be the number one supporter of the team, I'd love to be in Tokyo watching, I just need to convince my husband! I came back to the squad because I believe they are a winning team. I'm sad not to be on the pitch but I will always feel part of it."


 

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