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article imageInterview with Tyler Clary: Olympic gold medalist swimmer Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 16, 2017 in Sports
Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary chatted with Digital Journal about his career as a professional swimmer for Team USA.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Clary triumphed in the 200 meter backstroke, where he won the gold medal (besting Japanese swimmer Ryosuke Irie and fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte) with an Olympic record time, and he heard the U.S. national anthem played in his honor. "It was really, really cool. It is hard to boil down that entire experience in a couple of words: it was shocking, it was obviously memorable, and it taught me a lot about myself," he said. "I wasn't used to hearing the national anthem, so it was weird. Most often, on the podium, I was up there for second or third place. It was very surreal of them to honor me for the first time with the national anthem."
On the key of longevity in swimming, Clary said, "You need to have a good team of people around you, from my coach to my trainers. I wouldn't have been able to do all that without a strong team of people around me. You need to have a balance outside of the pool. Also, don't forget why you love the sport, and loving the people that you are with every day and loving what you do."
Earlier this year, Clary coached at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. "I am no longer there, but I am working on my racing career and doing swim clinics. I was there last month for about five days to work with the kids, and I will be their coach for a camp that we are doing in Florida in February.
When asked to look back in a rear-view mirror and reflect on the last decade, he responded, "I see a lot of lessons learned. I see a lot of things learned about myself outside of the lessons that I learned. I see a lot of friends and a lot of cool places visited. Swimming has allowed me to do a number of really awesome things, and it's hard to forget about all that. I look back on swimming, for the most part, with a smile."
Clary is working on his racing career. "I try to keep my fans updated with my swim clinics and my racing. I'm trying to convert a lot of my swimming 'fans' into racing fans, so I post about that on social media. I try to race sports cars professionally now."
He defined the word success as follows: "Everything is always a journey. Success is a combination of what happens along that journey. if you can say that you are better at the end of that journey, I would call that success."
Digital transformation of aquatics
On the impact of technology in the swimming world, Clary said, "As it relates to suits, in 2008 and 2009, we were at the most advanced level, and then a lot of the big tech suits got banned, which is unfortunate. Lately, there hasn't been a whole lot of change as far as the suits go, but we are getting a lot better in logging our workouts and monitor certain metrics. We've gotten better with bio-mechanics for sure. You can see the increased levels of performance out of the entire swimming community. We are dropping records and we are dropping times. In 2009, everybody said that all these world records will never be broken, and here we stand eight years later, with many times and records dropped.
For his dedicated fans, he said, "Thank you for supporting me and believing in me. There were many times, to be honest, when I was down about the sport and my performance in general, and it was very helpful to look at the messages that I would have from fans, and to realize that there is so much more that goes into every one of my swims for a lot of people. There are a lot of people that look up to me and what I do. That was empowering and inspiring!"
To learn more about Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary, check out his official Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter.
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