Calling it “a really cool time” where she was able to “fulfil so many dreams,” Germany’s Tina Putzel announced her retirement from competitive diving this week.
The 27-year-old Dresden native reached her top performances in recent years and capped her championship career off in style, winning both the Women’s and Mixed 3m Springboard events at the Rome 2022 European Championships last August.
A seven-time medallist at the Europeans, Punzel also claimed bronze medals at the 18th FINA World Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A versatile diver, the German paired up with Lou Noel Massenberg in the Mixed 3m Springboard at the Gwangju 2019 Worlds, then with Lena Hentschel when she won Olympic bronze in the Women’s 3m Springboard.
“This Olympic medal was all I dreamed of for my whole diving career and I pushed my body and mind to the limits and beyond to reach my biggest dream,” Punzel said in her retirement announcement post on Instagram. “Achieving it together with Lena Hentschel, I have experienced the highest of highs in my career and I enjoyed it as long as possible!”
Teammate Henstschel also took to Instagram to wish Putzel a goodbye farewell from elite diving, saying, “Thank you for everything over the years. Every practice, competition, training camp, wizard game and every other moment spent together. I will never forget how much you supported me over the years and intense times, both in and outside the pool.”
Following the extended Tokyo Olympic quad, Punzel took some time away from the sport before last year’s triumphant return. The business and economics student found that coming back for the World Aquatics Championships and Paris 2024 Games wasn’t in the cards, writing, “I couldn’t push my body and my mind to the limits any longer. I know what it takes to be in the best shape I can be for the Olympics and, honestly, I’m not ready to go on this journey again. I am now ready for the next chapter!”