Sierra Leonean Olympian, Maggie Vanessa Barrie has announced her retirement from the track. The 25-year-old athlete, who participated at the Olympics for the first time in the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics, made the announcement through her social media channels that she looks forward to a new chapter in life.
The words below are the exact statements she made in a Facebook post.
“I’m crying as I write this. Those that understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go behind pursuing a dream with your whole heart will understand this emotion of finally accomplishing your goal and deciding it’s time to move on. Track & Field was the air I breathed for 17 years since I was a little girl. The only dream I ever had was to be an Olympian. It didn’t happen in the way I imagined, but I still accomplished it. It was a bittersweet moment. To finish my Olympic race and just feel in my mind, body, and soul that I was done. That I had no more to give. Done with this amazing, whirlwind life of being a pro athlete. Track & Field gave me once-in-a-lifetime experiences, enabled me to travel the world and be coached by amazing individuals. It taught me how to be brave when no one believed in me and how to stand tall when a whole country was counting on me to represent them. I’m so thankful to God for this experience. Now, the book closes on this part of my life. I will always reread it with happiness and pride for all I did. Thank you to everyone who supported me and cheered me on. I’m ready to start my new chapter.”
Barrie competed in the women’s 400 metres at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics, in 2019, she competed in the women’s 200 metres and women’s 4 × 400 metres relay at the 2019 African Games held in Rabat, Morocco.
She was expecting to be entered into the 400 metres race at the 2020 Summer Games. However, an administrative error saw her enter 100 metres instead. She ran a season’s best time to come through the preliminary round and improved her season’s best again in the heat but didn’t proceed to the semi-final.