Coe leads Adlington tributes
British Olympic Association chairman Sebastian Coe led the tributes to Rebecca Adlington after she confirmed her retirement from swimming.
Adlington, 23, struck gold over 400m and 800m at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and claimed two bronze medals at London 2012.
The Mansfield-born swimmer confirmed at a London press conference on Tuesday that she was bringing to an end a glittering career that has brought her Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles.
Now Adlington is looking to leave her own legacy by setting up programmes with a dream that each child in Britain can learn to swim.
Coe said: "Becky Adlington's unforgettable success in Beijing inspired a generation to get in the pool and swim.
"Her down-to-earth personality and remarkable career achievements have made her a national treasure.
"Becky's vision for the future of grass-roots swimming in this country will create a wonderful legacy from one of our greatest Olympians.
"I have no doubt this vision will be pursued with the same drive, dedication and determination as Becky consistently displayed in the pool."
Adlington's coach and mentor Bill Furniss, appointed head coach by British Swimming yesterday, tweeted: "Proud to have been Rebecca's coach the same qualities that made her the best ever will ensure success in everything she does."
And Adlington's Great Britain team-mate Keri-anne Payne tweeted: "So unbelievably proud of @BeckAdlington and honoured to have been on some of your journey with you. I miss you alread!! xxxxx úlegend."
Stephen Parry, who won a 200m butterfly bronze at the 2000 Athens Olympics, told BBC Radio 5 Live he understood the timing of Adlington's decision.
He said: "Becky said in the press conference she has done everything she could in the sport. She felt she couldn't take it on at two distance events at the age of 27.
"I think she has made the right decision. She is happy with what she has done in the sport."
Duncan Goodhew, who won gold and bronze breaststroke medals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "When she broke the world record in Beijing at 19 it was an astounding performance. How could she improve on that?"
BOA chief executive Andy Hunt said: "Through her remarkable talent and tireless work ethic, Becky Adlington has set a standard of excellence that future generations of Team GB athletes will aspire to reach.
"She represents the very best of what British sport, and the Olympic Movement, are all about.
As Becky transitions now into a new phase of her career, we wish her the very best for continued success, and congratulate her on her remarkable career with Team GB."