Bentz is looking forward to Season 2 of the ISL, where he will be competing for the Cali Condors. “I am excited about that,” he said. “It is nice to be competing for an American team. Last year, I competed for Team Iron, which is the Hungarian-based team and I had a great experience there, they were fantastic.”
He praised his General Manager, iconic Olympic gold medalist retired swimmer Jason Lezak. “Jason is such a great guy and such a great leader for so many obvious reasons,” he said.
Bentz shared that he sees a silver lining in this pandemic. “The teams and the athletes will continue to work hard and they will always figure out how to work hard, and they will swim just fine,” he said.
He listed the butterfly as his personal favorite stroke. “I wasn’t always a butterflier but when I went to the University of Georgia, Jack Bauerle turned me into a butterflier,” he said.
On being a swimmer in the digital age, Bentz said, “Swimming is evolving. It is getting so technical. Back in the day, it was ‘work hard’ and see if it works out. It was a measurement of how hard you can grind. Now, there are so many technologies that can propel us so much further into the sport. These days, it is a really exciting time to be a swimmer because of those prospects and it will be interesting to see what happens down the line.”
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, he said, “New Beginnings.”
For young and aspiring swimmers, he encouraged them to “be coachable.” “The most important thing in swimming is to be coachable. Anyone can work hard and grind their butt off, and then you have natural talent. The hardest techniques you can use to get better is changing things that your coach tells you to do in the technique or warm-up routine. Your coaches know better than you and listen to them. Make the changes that need to be made since that’s how you can get better,” he said.
He revealed that his favorite quote is the following by British essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle: “Work while it is called To-day, for the Night cometh wherein no man can work.” “That’s my favorite quote,” he admitted. “I repeat that a lot. I won’t be swimming for much longer and I just want to stay motivated and to keep going for this short time that I have left in the sport.”
For his fans and supporters, Bentz concluded, “I am truly a product of my environment and the people around me. They are the reason I am where I am today. I couldn’t do it without my teammates (past and present), coaches, friends and family. Having those supporters is a really cool feeling.”
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@thegunnybunny Gunnar Bentz January 3, 1996 USA – Olympic Gold Medalist – 16-time NCAA All-American Gunnar was born in Atlanta, Georgia and began swimming for Dynamo Swim Club when he was 11 years old. Gunnar attended the University of Georgia, receiving degrees in Management and Aerospace Studies. During his collegiate career, Gunnar became the most decorated male UGA swimmer in history, earning 16 First-Team All-America honors as well as becoming UGA Swimming’s first male Olympic Gold Medalist. His favorite quote is by the prophetic Sir Thomas Carlyle: “Work while it is called To-day, for the Night cometh wherein no man can work.”