Laure Manaudou, once the golden girl of French swimming, says she plans to take a long break after the Beijing Olympics.
These Games have so far been desperately disappointing for the 21-year-old, the first French female swimmer to win Olympic gold when she captured the 400 metres freestyle title in Athens four years ago.
But in Beijing, the defence of her crown ended with Manaudou trailing in last in the 400m freestyle final, won by Britain's Rebecca Adlington, and then breaking down in tears.
"I don't know exactly what I am going to do (after the Olympics) but I am going to take a long break and think about something else," said Manaudou, who has endured a torrid year both in and out of the pool.
"For how long, I don't know. It could be one month, six months, a year. But I am definitely going to think about something else and spend more time with my family and friends, especially Esther (Baron, a swimmer who didn't qualify for the Games), who is not here.
She added: "I really want to see all those who are close to me and weren't able to be here with me."
Manaudou, who admitted she gave up in the 400m freestyle final, has seen her private life become a staple of French gossip columns.
In March she lost her 400m freestyle world record and European title to Federica Pellegrini - the 200m freestyle champion in Beijing - she also lost her swimmer boyfriend Luca Marin to her Italian rival.
Compromising images of Manaudou then emerged on the internet, with Italy's Marin denying suggestions he was responsible.
Laure Manaudou is a French swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. Apparently the story behind these is that Laure took these pictures for her former lover, an Italian swimmer named Luca Marin, and Marin is supposedly the person who leaked these on the Internet. So ... Laure is frighteningly muscular, she's a freak, she's fun.