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Swimmer Natalie Coughlin's Future Plans Are Unclear, She Says

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She's had a few weeks to reflect on her Olympic experience, and she's considering swimming on the upcoming World Cup circuit. With all that being said, though, Natalie Coughlin still isn't sure what the future will hold for her, she said.

The 30-year-old swimmer is coming of a disappointing Olympic Trials in which she only qualified to swim the women's 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Coughlin, who won the women's 100-meter backstroke at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, had hoped to swim the event again in London and become the first woman to win three consecutive gold medals in the backstroke event. Instead, two teenagers beat Coughlin to the wall at the Olympic trials, and 17-year-old Missy Franklin walked away from the Olympic Games with the gold medal in the event.

Coughlin's 2012 Olympic Games weren't a total bust, though. The California native won a bronze medal as a member of the the 4x100 freestyle relay, which gave Coughlin her 12th Olympic medal. She's now tied with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated American female swimmer in history.

So far, knowing that she's tied with the other women hasn't had a huge bearing on her future decisions, Coughlin said Aug. 31, 2012 on The Morning Swim Show. In fact, Coughlin said she has yet to make many decisions at all.

"I don't know if that will affect you know what the future is for me or not, but I am still trying to figure out what I am doing," Coughlin said on The Morning Swim Show. "I am going to explore options outside of the pool, but I am still considering doing the World Cup circuit this year. I love swimming and I have not made a decision to retire or not to retire as of now."

Coughlin wasn't willing to elaborate too much on her options outside of the pool, though she did say she's interested in writing a cookbook and opening a swim school with her husband. Should she decide to continue swimming, she will do so with her longtime coach Teri McKeever, she said.

No matter what, though, Coughlin said she isn't interested in having children right away.

"I think everyone expected me to want to have babies right away and that is not a case," Coughlin said during the episode. "Don't worry, I am not going to have any babies anytime soon."

Sandra Johnson was a competitive swimmer for more than 15 years before she began coaching. She is a longtime Olympic fan, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.

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