Viên recently submitted her retirement request to Ho Chi Minh City National Sports Training Center shortly after her return from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August.

She politely declined the invitation to join the national team and expressed her intention to retire from professional swimming. This decision was based on her age and a decline in her performance.

Vien confirmed that she had thoroughly deliberated her decision and expressed her desire to devote the upcoming period to pursuing her studies at the prestigious University of Sports Ho Chi Minh City, as well as dedicating time to her personal life.

After briefly retiring in 2020, she made the decision to return to her passion for swimming.

At present, all stakeholders are diligently supporting her to persist and participate in the rescheduled 2021 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, scheduled to be held in Hanoi in May 2022.

National Swimming Star

Vien, at the age of 25, holds the title of being the most accomplished Vietnamese swimmer in history.

Considered a prized asset in Vietnam’s swimming scene, this talented individual was discovered and nurtured by the military’s prestigious sporting unit at a tender age of 11.

Vien, with over a decade of successful professional experience, has achieved impressive accolades in her career. Her accomplishments include winning 25 gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games, as well as a silver and a bronze at Asian tournaments. Additionally, she has earned two bronze medals at the Asian Games, a Youth Olympic gold, and numerous other noteworthy achievements.

She has been the dominant force in Vietnamese domestic swimming for several years, earning numerous accolades and setting several records.

Vien is a competitive athlete who represented her country in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. However, despite her efforts, she was unable to advance past the initial round in either of these prestigious sporting occasions.

Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien shakes hands with the then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at an honor ceremony in Hanoi on December 22, 2019. File photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien shakes hands with then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at an honor ceremony in Hanoi on December 22, 2019. File photo: Tuoi Tre

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From 2012 to 2019, the investment in Vien surpassed VND30 billion (US$1.3 million), which is a record-breaking figure for a Vietnamese athlete.

Despite experiencing a slump in form since 2017, the lack of intervention from Vietnam’s sports administrators has been evident for the swimmer.

Over the course of eight years, Vien underwent intensive training in the United States, which included multiple training trips. Throughout this period, her devoted coach, Dang Anh Tuan, took full responsibility for her wellbeing and training needs, collaborating with a team of experts from the U.S.

Insufficient regular inspections and evaluations on Vien’s training have left the effectiveness of the substantial investment in the swimmer uncertain.

The sports administrators did not respond when Tuan reported that Vien had been experiencing depression, and there were also reports of the male coach neglecting to adequately support the star swimmer.

Despite any issues, everyone is thrilled when Vien secures another impressive gold medal collection at regional competitions like the SEA Games and national tournaments.

The international focus of the investment in Vien has garnered significant attention, causing a stir in terms of overall satisfaction.

Vien has not received training from a personal coach for the past two years, which has resulted in a decline in her performance. This decline began after Tuan left his position at the national swimming team due to a debt scandal in January 2020.

The athlete’s decision to retire from professional swimming is understandable, as she is no longer considered young enough to continue pursuing her career in the sport.

Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien. File photo: Tuoi Tre

Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien. File photo: Tuoi Tre

Losses to Consider

Although an official response to Vien’s proposal to retire from professional competitions has not been received, sports experts are considering its likelihood.

2021 SEA Games: Vietnam Aims for the Top Spot in Medal Standings

As the host of the 2021 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), Vietnam’s sporting delegation has set their sights on finishing first in the medal standings. With an impressive lineup of athletes and a strong preparation strategy, Vietnam is determined to showcase their sporting prowess and secure the top spot. The 2021 SEA Games will be a critical event for Vietnam as they aim to demonstrate their capabilities as both athletes and hosts. Stay tuned for an exciting display of talent and passion from Vietnam’s sporting representatives.

Unfortunately, due to Vien’s absence, Vietnam may not be able to secure a minimum of five gold medals at the regional sporting event.

The sporting unit of the military, which recognized Vien’s exceptional talent and has been her club’s management, is at risk of losing its dominant position in the national swimming championship. Vien contributed immensely to the unit’s success by securing 14 gold medals out of the total 17 earned in the 2020 edition of the championship.

Vietnam will continue to participate in competitions such as the Olympics and Asian Games despite Vien’s retirement. However, the country has achieved limited success in these events, with only five medals and 17 gold medals earned throughout 16 and 11 appearances, respectively.

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