At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Prenot won the silver medal in the men’s breaststroke for Team USA, in a very intense swim (where half a second separated the first six finishers). “That felt amazing. That was a wild race, and anyone’s game in the end,” Prenot said. “It was an absolute honor to add to our team’s most successful Olympic performance since Sydney.”
On his plans for the future, Prenot revealed that he will be training at least until 2020. “I’ve got a great training base in California, and I am excited to go after other goals with my life and career as well,” he said.
When asked if he would ever go into coaching, he said, “I don’t think I really want to. I don’t know if I have the patience for that.”
Prenot acknowledged that he is a self-motivated person and athlete. “I do this sport because I like doing it, and because I want to see how good I can be in it. Swimming is a cool sport because it is very easy to see the progression,” he said. “Having a great environment at Berkeley, with 30 other great athletes, is beneficial to helping each other achieve our goals. It pushes all of us to perform our best every day.”
For Prenot, “injury prevention” is definitely the key to longevity in swimming. “You are really grinding your shoulders down, and that can take a toll if you don’t take care of yourself,” he said. “We do a lot of stretching and a good amount of yoga. We all have recovery modalities.”
He had nothing but great remarks for fellow athlete and Team USA Olympian Jacob Pebley. “Jacob is a great guy. He and I have a long history together. We’ve had similar paths. We’ve been great friends and we supported each other,” Prenot said.
Digital transformation of swimming
On the impact of technology on the sport of swimming over the years, Prenot said, “The most glaring example was when multiple world records were broken in 2009 at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome. This was with the full-body shiny swimsuits. People were just breaking records in the preliminary hearts, and now that that’s gone, there’s a limit to what you can do. I’m with Adidas right now, and it’s really cool to see what they are working on. They do a lot of things with data analysis and computer modeling to make sure that this gear is within the rules, and that’s helpful for the athletes.”
Prenot continued, “There is so much you can do with a swimsuit that is between your waist and your knees. The technology that is really helping us get faster is analyzing the metrics in the training. You can really analyze your start, the angles, and velocities and you can figure out ways to be more powerful and efficient.”
He also noted that “underwater footage is key,” and “really, really good to have.”
Prenot defined the word success as follows: “I want to be able to retire from the sport really happy with what I’ve done for myself. I want to be confident in the fact that I maximized my potential, in becoming truly the best athlete that I could be. That sums it up.”