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article imageCatching up with Ryan Held: Olympic gold medalist swimmer Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 12, 2020 in Sports
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Held chatted with Digital Journal about his plans for 2020, and he expressed his gratitude to all of his fans and supporters.
In 2019, Held was a part of the International Swimming League (ISL), where he competed for the Los Angeles Current, with Lenny Krayzelburg as his General Manager. "The ISL was awesome. It was so much fun. It was really cool because you got to bond with many of the swimmers on your team and I formed many new friendships," he admitted.
He shared that he is looking forward to the second season of the ISL. "I am coming back for some vengeance," he said.
This past week, Held competed at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa. "Des Moines is my favorite Pro Swim Series stop. I love their pool, as well as the fans, good racing, and good energy," he said. "I swam pretty well. I was slightly faster than I was at this time last year, so that's a good sign. I had fun seeing a lot of friends and it was a good time."
In the summer of 2019, he excelled at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships, where he won the men's 50 meter freestyle race and the 100 meter freestyle race, where he set a U.S. Open Record record with a time of 47.39 seconds. "It felt great to have that confidence boost and that surge since the previous two summers were disappointing for me to not make the big national teams. It was great to have that 'mojo' again. I'm here, happy and healthy and let's do this again in a year's time," he said.
Particularly impressive about Held is that he is a Champion's Mojo athlete, and he had nothing but the kindest remarks about Kelly Palace and Maria Parker. "Their podcasts are so great," he exclaimed. "They get great people on the show and they ask great questions."
For his dedicated swimming fans and supporters, he said, "Thank you for all the support and the fandom. It doesn't go unheard, and I am very grateful for it all. I love signing autographs for young kids since it wasn't all that long that I was that little kid: seeing an Olympian, or touching the same ground, and realizing that an Olympian was a god among men. I just feel like a regular guy. I don't feel anything crazy special about me."
"I love to give back to young kids and inspire them to reach their goals," he said. "I didn't really come from any big powerhouse swimming team. I came from a small Central Illinois team that is not even known for swimming. It was just hard work and dedication as the secret ingredients."
To learn more about Ryan Held, follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.
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