Olympian Jacob Pebley opens up about swimming career, future Special

Posted May 7, 2018 by Markos Papadatos
U.S. Olympian Jacob Pebley chatted with Digital Journal about his accomplished career in swimming, and he opened up about his future plans, and the digital transformation of aquatics.
Olympian Jacob Pebley
Olympian Jacob Pebley
Cejih Yung
Pebley came in fifth place at the men's 200 meter backstroke at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "That was crazy," Pebley admitted. "It was a dream come true to make the team, and to perform at that high level was pretty awesome."
Each day, Pebley is motivated by his love for competing. "Even in practice, I love competing. Whether I win or lose, I am just glad I had the opportunity to at least go for it. Obviously, I hate losing, but I am not afraid to fail, so that's the best part about my swimming. I will go after anyone, whether it is a guaranteed win or not," he said.
Swimmer Jacob Pebley
Swimmer Jacob Pebley
JD Lasica, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
On his plans for the future, Pebley said, "To continue swimming. I am training for Tokyo 2020. That's the long term goal. At the moment, I am training for the Pan Pacific Championships this summer. The nationals are end of July. Also, I just got married, and my wife is in medical school."
He shared that he would definitely consider coaching in the distant future. "I have always been passionate about the sport of swimming. I would be my happiest, as long as I can stay in the sport. That's my goal after I am done competing," he said.
At the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Pebley took home the bronze medal in the men's 200 meter backstroke for Team U.S.A. "That was definitely a huge step in my career. I am proud of that," he said.
Olympian Jacob Pebley
Olympian Jacob Pebley
Cortney White via Portland Gear
For aspiring swimmers, Pebley said, "You need to have fun with it. You have to find why you are doing it, because it can be monotonous, since you are staring at a black line, and you need to get in your own world, when you start swimming."
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology on aquatics, Pebley said, "In the backstroke, they have added the wedge, where the backstroke starts. You used to go off a flat wall, but now they added this mini-ramp that looks like a door wedge, and it helps you from flipping. That's pretty huge. I think pools are getting faster. People are realizing some pools are faster due to bigger lane lines and waves, which hinders faster performances."
Pebley continued, "In USA Swimming, we have people whose job is devoted to watching video about swimming and providing feedback to every competition. That wasn't there 10 years ago. We have a person that comes to our team once a month, and they tell us how our technique looks in training. They do bio-mechanical analysis. We do a lot of distance per stroke, and we have all the stats on other competitors e in the world, and we see where we stand."
This past March, Pebley was interviewed by fellow American swimmer Michael Andrew for his official YouTube channel. "He is a good YouTuber," Pebley said, complimenting Andrew. "He has great questions, he's good in talking, and he's got everything down. He is a bubbly guy, and good for our sport."
He defined success as "Fulfilling a goal and doing it the right way." "You need to have a lot of steps in place to fulfill that goal," he said. "Hopefully, the process is worth it."
For his fans, Pebley said, "I wouldn't be able to swim for my job if it weren't for the fans. They are the ones that keep the sport alive. They need to keep at it. Swimming doesn't happen overnight. It takes years of hard work and dedication. As long as you are having fun with it, good things will come. It doesn't have to be the Olympics, it can be anything you set your mind to. Anything is possible as long as you have a plan in place."
To learn more about Olympian Jacob Pebley, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.