Before this hungry little guy would go on to become one of the most decorated swimmers of all time, he was just a kid enjoying chowing down in New York.
When he was 5, his family moved to Florida so his dad could coach swimming, and he was taught to swim by both parents … though he spent more time misbehaving. That all changed when he lost at the Junior Olympics at age 14 and decided he wanted to become a champion.
The kid went on to swim at the University of Florida and was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year … twice. While in college in 2004, he swam in his first Olympics and took home a team gold medal and an individual silver.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, he won a bronze medal in his first event, but followed it up with a team gold and his first individual gold in the 200-meter backstroke … for which he also broke a world record.
The swimming sensation would ultimately participate in 4 Summer Olympics, win 6 gold medals, 3 silver and 3 bronze, and set 2 world records … though he might be remembered most for being involved in a bonehead scandal in 2016 in Brazil.
Regardless, he’s still eyeing a spot on the 2020 Olympics team … which could make for a nice redemption story. Jeah!