London, England – American swimmer Natalie Coughlin doesn't know if she will retire after the London Olympics.
Coughlin said people who jumped to the conclusion that she would walk away after barely making her third U.S. Olympic team have the wrong idea.
"I may continue to swim and I may not. I think a lot of people assumed I was going to be done and I never once said that," Coughlin said Thursday. "So I'm going to take this meet as it comes ... and then I'll evaluate from there."
Coughlin, 29, has 11 Olympic medals -- one shy of tying fellow swimmers Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most among American women.
She was the first American woman to win six medals at a single Olympics when she captured a gold, two silver and three bronze in Beijing, but Coughlin will swim only in the 400-meter freestyle relay here.
And when she does retire, it won't be for the reason you think. Coughlin doesn't mind all the work.
"The hardest part about being an athlete is the day-to-day training and that's actually my favorite part," she said. "And whether I retire or not I'm going to continue to work out, so I might as well do it as my job."