http://www.digitaljournal.com/sports/meet-ricky-berens-2-time-olympic-gold-medalist-world-champion/article/505504

Meet Ricky Berens: 2-time Olympic gold medalist, world champion Special

Posted Oct 19, 2017 by Markos Papadatos
Olympic gold medalist and world champion swimmer Ricky Berens chatted with Digital Journal about his respected career in the sport, and he opened up about two charitable foundations that he supports.
Ricky Berens
Ricky Berens
Tim Binning
Throughout his career in swimming, Berens has won two gold medals at the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relays in Beijing and London respectively, as well as a silver medal at the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay in London. "That was a good feeling. It was a dream come true," he said, effusively. "You never actually think it is going to happen, but you set some goals, and put a lot of work into it, and it actually happened."
One of his proudest moments was hearing the national anthem played in his honor at the Olympics, as part of Team U.S.A. "That was one of the coolest moments," he admitted. "Standing up on that podium, representing your country is a dream come true, and you're really looking back at everybody that supported you along the way. You look at all the opportunities that you have, as well as your parents, coaches and all your neighborhood friends."
He revealed that each day he is motivated by his wife, who is expecting a baby. "Back in the Olympics, you have short-term and long-term goals, and for me, it was about how fast I could go, and knowing that I've worked harder than the person next to me. Swimming was my passion, and what I was really good at. I loved swimming more than anything. I really enjoyed it, and I got to do it on a daily basis," he said.
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology in swimming, he said, "I think technology helps. Sometimes, swimming is an instinct. When you are at you're best, and when you start thinking about your technique and all the little things during the race, it really screws you up. A lot of times, you need to remember not to think about the technology where you go back to computer and you look at how fast your kick is, how your wrists are, and how yours elbow are."
Regarding the bio-mechanical analysis in swimming, he said, "They do a lot these days. I'm a numbers guy, but I didn't look much into it. A lot of the guys are really into it, but for me it's about racing the person next to me. They hook you up to a lot of machines, and they look at a lot of different things, such as a simple dolphin kick, as well as upbeat kicks and downbeat kicks."
He shared that two of the charities that he actively supported were the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, as well as Tyler's Treehouse. "Tyler's Treehouse was close to home to me, and they raise funds for that," he said. "That was a very good family friend that passed away. Tyler was at the pool every single day, and was always smiling, and my mom told me that Tyler reminded her of me. Tyler's family started this foundation, and it was a very cool thing to do. I was lucky enough to work with several foundations, and to use my 'name' or 'status' for the greater good was really rewarding."
On the key to longevity in swimming, he said, "Hopefully, to be injury-free and a lot of it is the mental aspect of it. Also, make sure you are having fun. That was it for me."
For hopefuls who wish to go into swimming, he said, "Keep working at it. Always make sure you are having fun. Swimming is a sport where you go through a lot of plateaus. You work all year long for that one moment. Continue to fight through those moments."
Berens continued, "Swimming is a sport where you don't have to be the best in the world for it to really open up doors. You don't have to be the national champion to get a scholarship into a university. There are lot of great schools that swimming opens up doors for."
He defined the word success as being "happy" in life, as well as "whatever puts a smile on your face." For his fans and supporters, Berens expressed his sincere gratitude. "Those are the people you are standing on the podium saying 'thank you' to. There are many people behind me. It's a big thank you to all of them over the years," he said.
To learn more about Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ricky Berens, follow him on Twitter. and check out his official website.