Alex Danson-Bennett: Olympic champion explains retirement

Recovering from head injury has been my biggest challenge - Danson

Olympic champion Alex Danson-Bennett says deciding to retire was "easy" once she realised she couldn't be "100% in".

The 34-year-old has daily headaches after being concussed when hitting her head on a wall - but the injury is "not the only factor" in her retirement.

She briefly made a comeback in January in a bid to play at the 2020 Olympics.

But the former Great Britain captain told BBC Sport: "My situation means I can't be 100% in, so I can't be in at all - I'm all in or all out."

"I want to be able to choose to spend time with family and friends... and hockey won't dictate that.

"It's the first time in my life without the routine of wanting to be better and always striving to make the right decisions.

"I plan to relax, see family, say 'yes' to invites and weddings."

The former striker, who will now focus on running her hockey academy, was on holiday in 2018 when she laughed at a joke by her now husband Alex, threw her head back to laugh and hit it against a concrete wall.

The impact gave Danson-Bennett, who also captained England, what she describes as a mild traumatic brain injury and she ultimately decided the "risk is too high" to continue a comeback in the game.

She also now plans to spend more time with her triathlete sister Claire, who was paralysed from her stomach down after colliding with a tractor when riding her bike in August last year.

"My priorities have changed. I'm married, I want to spend time with my sister as she had her horrendous injury and she'll be coming home soon, which will be amazing and I don't want to be pulled between two worlds," said Danson-Bennett.

"My family will come first," added the former forward, who played 306 times in total for England and Great Britain and won Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

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