15 July 2008
Britain’s top decathlete and current Commonwealth Champion Dean Macey has made the decision to retire from athletics.
Following his valiant efforts at Hexham this weekend where he won the weekend’s event he decided that not having scored the Olympic A standard of 8000 points the time was right to call it a day in the knowledge that he could have done no more and his body could take no more.
The tears from family, supporters, meet organisers and fellow competitors will be echoed by many fans in the UK and overseas who have followed him since in 1999 he burst onto the international athletics scene in Seville’s World Championship, claiming a sensational silver medal.
In 2001 he performed with a staggering number of pain killing injections to claim bronze in the World Champs in Edmonton. His Olympic performances saw him agonisingly close to medals in both Sydney and Athens where he finished 4th on both occasions. Prior to Athens he had injury ridden seasons denying him of vital preparation and proving what an outstanding natural talent he possessed.
His Gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne was a deserved moment in the sun for Canvey Island’s favourite son although he was denied the chance of doubling his medal tally in 2006, missing the European Champs in Gothenburg through injury.
Operations that included rebuilding his elbow, coupled with constant muscle tears on the former World Junior silver medallist, and one time lifeguard meant that Dean and his physios had a constant battle to ensure his fitness. In peak form going into Hexham with an achievable 8000 points standing between him and the Games in Beijing, he was cruelly denied his chance of a place when he tore his right groin in the 2nd event and his left groin in the 8th event. However, in traditional Dean Machine fashion his huge heart almost overcame the reality of his ravaged body and he completed the event.
On his decision to announce his retirement Macey said:
“This is the most difficult decision that I have ever had to make but if I’m being honest I don’t believe that I can stay healthy anymore. My heart is there, my mind is there but my body has finally given in. It’s been an amazing journey over the last few years and the support that I have received has been phenomenal. I’ve given nothing but 100% over the last decade and worn my Great Britain vest with pride”
Dave Collins – UK Athletics Performance Director said:
“Everyone at UKA is gutted for Dean that he won’t be going to Beijing. He is a warrior and but for injury I’m sure we would be talking about Dean Macey the Olympic Champion. He has been an outstanding professional throughout his career and his drive and determination to succeed should serve as an example to every aspiring Olympian.”
Dean will now concentrate on developing his career in the Angling world, hopes to continue his association with the sport he loves and have an involvement with London 2012 - with Canvey a few miles from the Olympic Park - and will also consider the many interested parties within broadcasting who recognise the huge personality he possesses.