London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons is quitting judo at the age of 30 – just months after being dropped from the sport’s world-class programme when she refused to move south.
The Edinburgh-based fighter, who married GB team-mate Euan Burton four years ago, narrowly missed out on last summer’s Olympics in a selection race with rival Natalie Powell.
And Gibbons, one of a number of Ratho-based fighters who opted out of relocating to British Judo’s base in Walsall last year, will now start a new career as a teacher in the Capital following almost a quarter-century of relentless training.
“At the age of six when I first stepped on to the mat I couldn’t have dreamt what was to come,” she said. “Medals, the best memories and friends, and even a husband, I feel extremely lucky.
“I can’t explain how much I’ve loved having the job ‘judo player’ but I feel I’ve given the sport I love everything I have to give and now it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter.
“I’m looking forward to developing my next career as a PE teacher, and once graduated from Edinburgh University in a few months’ time I’ll be hoping to share the wonderful sport that has helped shape me into the person I am today.”