"Becky Adlington's unforgettable success in Beijing inspired a generation to get in the pool and swim," he said.
"Her down-to-earth personality and remarkable career achievements have made her a national treasure."
BOA chief Executive Andy Hunt added: "Through her remarkable talent and tireless work ethic, Becky Adlington has set a standard of excellence that future generations of Team GB athletes will aspire to reach.
"She represents the very best of what British sport, and the Olympic movement, are all about."
Adlington said in September that she would not compete
at the Rio Olympics in 2016
, feeling that as a 27-year-old she would be too old to be competitive.
She says that her work outside the pool has taken on a greater significance, and that she no longer has the same motivation to compete at elite level.
"I had to look at things, take a break and see how I felt when I came back. It didn't feel the same getting back into training and it felt like time," she said.
"I hate the words 'retired' so I don't want to say it because I would never retire from swimming all together, but as an elite athlete I wont be competing any more and I won't be at the World Championships this year."
"I want to launch my own learn to swim programme and I've always said that if I've inspired one kid to get in the pool then it would make my year and hopefully I can continue to do that," she said.
Gordon FarquharBBC sports news correspondent
"As unpretentious as beans on toast, but with a cordon bleu talent, the retiring Becky Adlington has been a huge asset to British Swimming in her short career. Her expressed desire now is to carry on working in the sport, with the goal of getting every child in Britain into a pool and able to swim 25m by the time they leave primary education. Ambitious, but she has the clout and charisma to help make it happen."
She believes that
the appointment of her former coach Bill Furniss
as the new head coach at British Swimming will improve the relationship between athletes and the governing body, and hopes to work with Furniss mentoring future elite swimmers.
"He knows enough about the sport and has been on so many teams that he's seen it all first-hand, so if there was anyone suitable for the role it is him," she said.
"Hopefully I'll still have a relationship with him where I can pass on my perspective as a swimmer.
"I'd love to stay involved in all sorts of ways. Hopefully I can help the younger guys coming up because I have been through it all."
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