Peirsol retires

Backstroke king and five-time Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol, the former Newport Harbor High swim star, won't be aiming for the 2012 Olympics. That's because he's retiring, according to

When Texas coach Eddie Reese was asked if his former swimmer Peirsol was hanging it up, Reese told Swimming World's Peter Busch, "he has done that."

"I think [Peirsol] has made it official-unofficial or unofficial-official that he is not going to 2012," Reese said during the interview.

Peirsol, 27, won three gold medals in the 2004 Olympics, sweeping the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events and contributing to the 400 medley relay victory. He won two gold medals in the 2008 Olympics in the 100 back, which was a world-record swim. He was also a part of the 400 medley relay team that set a world record.

He has also won 10 long-course world titles as well as six world titles in short-course races.

Peirsol did not return a phone message and e-mail from the Daily Pilot Tuesday.

— Steve Virgen

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