Veteran Hockeyroos defender Karri McMahon has called a premature end to her international playing career due to a chronic knee injury.
Despite being involved in the recent selection camp, results of scans last week led medical specialists to inform her of the potential of long term issues if she continued to compete at the highest level.
The 28 year old Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympian has announced her retirement from international hockey after 153 appearances and nine years in the Hockeyroos setup.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to retire from the Hockeyroos following an injury which would have ruled me out of contention for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said McMahon.
“The past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions following some unfortunate scan results. Medical advice has indicated my body is unable to safely continue playing at the elite level required to reach the Olympics without potential significant complications for my life after hockey.
“It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to have been part of the Hockeyroos over the last nine years and it has brought me so many wonderful friendships and priceless memories throughout the journey.
“I want to thank all of the people who had a hand in my career as a Hockeyroo. To my parents, family, partner, coaches, support staff, sponsors, Hockey Australia and most importantly, all of the amazing women I have taken the field with and called my teammates…I am truly grateful to them all.”
A qualified paramedic who twice received the Executive Deans Award for Academic Excellence at Charles Sturt University, McMahon’s focus will now turn to the next off field chapter of her life.
“I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity within the program to develop so many invaluable skills which have helped me grow, as not just a hockey player but as a person,” said McMahon.
“While there are a great many things that I will miss about being part of the Hockeyroos, I am really excited to dive into all of the exciting new adventures that come next for me and getting the chance to spend some quality time with my family and friends.
“I wish all of the girls the best of luck in the upcoming selections, preparations and Games themselves, and I will be eagerly supporting them all the way.”
McMahon leaves the Hockeyroos with medals at Commonwealth Games, World Cups and Champions Trophies.
Head Coach Paul Gaudoin paid credit to her resilience and determination over close to decade.
“Karri has been an absolute pleasure to coach. She has had to deal with some tough injury concerns but has always worked hard to be in the best condition she could be in,” said Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin.
“She always wanted to and was open to ways of how she could improve her game right up until the last games she played at this selection camp, which was so pleasing to see.”
“It’s massively disappointing for her to have had to make this decision, but I know she will be successful in anything she chooses to do in the future.”
Hockey Australia High Performance Director Toni Cumpston congratulated McMahon on an amazing Hockeyroos career.
“To represent your country is very special, to have done so over 150 times is outstanding,” said Cumpston.
“Karri has been a wonderful ambassador for our sport and shown great resilience over the last three years to be able to continue to perform at the highest level.”
“She worked incredibly hard to maintain the high standards required of an elite athlete whilst continuing to build her career outside of sport, and this is true testament to her.
“I wish Karri the very best for the future and I am sure she will be as successful in her off field exploits as she has been as a member of the Australian Women’s hockey team.”
The Karri McMahon File
DOB: 27 February 1992
Place of Birth: Berri, South Australia
Playing Number: 11
Hockeyroos appearances (goals): 153 (10)
Hockeyroos Cap Number: 462
Hockeyroos Debut: 23 September 2012 v Ireland
2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal
2014 World Cup Silver Medal
2014 Champions Trophy Silver Medal
2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal
2018 Champions Trophy Silver Medal
2019 FIH Pro League Silver medal
Olympic Games 2016
Commonwealth Games 2014, 2018
World Cup 2014, 2018
World League 2013, 2015
Champions Trophy 2014, 2016, 2018
Oceania Cup 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019
FIH Pro League 2019, 2020
Instagram: @karrileemcmahon Twitter: @KarriMcMahon