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article imageInterview: Ryan Held is eyeing Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympic Games Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 23, 2021 in Sports
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Held is eyeing the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer. Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos chatted with this Olympic athlete about his latest endeavors.
"It has been good to see everybody at the TYR Pro Swim Series meets," he said. "I don't get to see my swimming pals often in these times. The racing part is fun but probably seeing my swimming friends is the better part."
This summer, he is looking forward to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, where he will be vying for a spot in Team USA. "I am very excited to be back in a big arena," he said.
Going into Trials, the one area that he wants to improve upon is sleep and nutrition discipline. "Right now, I am much more diligent about my nutrition," he admitted. "Sleep is really important physiologically and kinesiologically for the body."
Particularly impressive about Held is that he did not really come from any big swimming team. He came from a small swimming team in Central Illinois that wasn't even known for its swimming program; however, with perseverance, hard work, and dedication Held was able to stand out and triumph.
His time of 47.39 seconds, which he set at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships in the men's 100 meter freestyle race, is still the U.S. Open Record.
Regarding the greatest lesson that swimming has ever taught him, he said, "Don't get complacent with where you are. You always need to be pushing yourself to the extra limit."
During the quarantine, when he didn't have access to a swimming pool, he did a lot of rowing and cycling. "Also, The Last Dance documentary would get me jacked up and motivated," he said.
Held is proud to be a Champion's Mojo athlete. "I am really impressed with how far Champion's Mojo has come along. It's really impressive how much they've grown. That's crazy and awesome," he said.
He acknowledged that all champions have a "good mental attitude." "Champions can complain, but in the middle of it, they go for it, and they just do things right now," he said.
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Held responded, "The Last Lap."
Held noted that his definition of success has changed over the years. "When I was young, success was winning, breaking records, and getting the gold," he said. "Now, over quarantine, things have been put into perspective. I am more disciplined now and looking back, this whole season has been a success. If you have access to a long-course pool, it's a success."
"At this stage in my life, I have a mutual/beneficial relationship with swimming," Held said. "Swimming is bringing me joy and happiness. I remember why I've fallen in love with the sport, and I am giving my best efforts to the sport. Now, I have the best mental and emotional relationship that I've had with swimming in years."
To learn more about Olympic swimmer Ryan Held, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
More about Ryan Held, Olympic games, Swimmer, Olympic, Gold
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