“I’ve accomplished a lot and had to sacrifice a lot to get there,” he wrote in a text message Tuesday night.
“I just want to be able to relax and enjoy the kids to the fullest.”
Lezak, 37, and his wife, Danielle, have two sons, ages 3 and 1.
The former Irvine High and Irvine Novaquatics club swimmer made his fourth consecutive Olympics this past summer and finished his career with eight medals (four gold, two silver, two bronze).
In 2008, he rallied past France and Alain Bernard on the final leg to give Team USA and Michael Phelps a dramatic, world-record victory in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Lezak called it his proudest moment, writing, “I didn’t realize what really happened in that race and what it meant to so many people until I came home.”
Lezak’s rally also kept Phelps’ bid for a record eight gold medals alive. Here’s the video, which never gets old: