On joining the Cali Condors team, he said, “It feels amazing. I am super excited to be a part of that team. They did extremely well last year, and they are a great group of guys and girls. I am really excited to compete with them, and have a blast.”
He complimented his team’s General Manager, Jason Lezak, and praised him for being a “legend.” “I remember where I was when he had that anchor leg at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It was one of those swims that everybody remembers exactly where they were when that triumphant moment happened. It is going to be great to get to know him more, spend time with him and learn from him,” he said.
Cordes opened up about life in quarantine, which he described as “interesting.” “It was a shock at first and an adjustment. I tried to look at it objectively and I tried to figure how to better myself in that situation,” he said. “The biggest thing was keeping your mind right, and staying positive. That’s what I tried to do. I counted every practice as a blessing, that’s what quarantine taught me.”
He is drawn to the breaststroke in swimming since for him, it’s the “most unique stroke.” “I love how it’s different from every other stroke. There are so many ways to approach swimming breaststroke and figuring out the best way for yourself is a lot of fun. There are a lot of moving parts and everything needs to be connected,” he explained.
On being a swimmer in the digital age, he said, “I love it. Now, there is so much technology that is available to use. Coaches and a lot of programs are adapting to more specialized and individualized approaches since every swimmer is different. You can look at an Olympic final in breaststroke, and every single person’s stroke is different, but all that technology can really help.”
Cordes won the gold medal for Team USA as part of the men’s 4 × 100 meter medley race, and he is an American record holder (50 meter and 100 meter breaststroke) and a four-time world champion. “Being a part of the U.S. Olympic team in 2016 was an amazing experience and a lifelong goal. It was an honor to represent the United States at the Olympics with the American flag on your cap. It was unbelievable,” he said.
“I am really looking forward to training this year and training for the Olympic Trials, so hopefully, I will be able to do that again,” he added.
For young and aspiring swimmers, Cordes said, “Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Really hone in on your strengths and try to work on those weaknesses. Also, try to be better in the pool every single morning.”
Cordes defined the word success as “being happy doing what you love to do and trying to better yourself in the process and working hard to achieve a goal.”
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