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chase kalisz swimming AP/Martin Meissner
AP/Martin Meissner

The former University of Georgia Bulldog and current Olympic swimmer Chase Kalisz once dominated the college circuit and now owns the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

After a solid showing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Kalisz is showing the world just how far he’s come since then. While he specializes in the individual medley, he’s a gifted breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle swimmer as well.

And one person, in particular, will be in Kalisz’s pocket. Kalisz considers himself to be close friends with the legendary Olympian Michael Phelps. Having the greatest American swimmer of all time in his corner is sure to be a boost of confidence.

Chase Kalisz Swimming

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Kalisz was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and was raised in Bel-Air. He attended Fallston High School, where he met his training partner Michael Phelps at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

After high school, Kalisz was a three-time NCAA Champion at the NCAA Division-I level. He’s trained by well-respected swim coaches Jack Bauerle and Bob Bowman.

While in college, Kalisz won three national championships at the 400-meter individual medley, an event in which he holds the American record.

When he was just a 19-year-old, he took part in the 2013 World Aquatic Championships. He won a silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley, placing behind Daiya Seto from Japan. He followed up his second-place finish at the world championships with his first-ever NCAA national championship despite being just a freshman.

In 2017, the Olympic silver medalist impressed fans at the FINA World Championships, where he collected a pair of gold medals.

Tokyo will be a familiar stomping ground for the Team USA swimmer. During the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships, which were also located in Tokyo, Kalisz earned two gold medals for his 200- and 400-meter medleys at the Pan Pacs.

The United States Olympic team is a lot stronger now that they’ve officially brought Kalisz back into the fold. Kalisz won the 400-meter individual medley in Omaha, Nebraska, during the U.S. Olympic Trials’ opening night, meaning he’ll be at least one member of the U.S. National Team competing at the Tokyo Olympics. He outlasted fellow Georgia competitor Jay Litherland to secure his qualification.

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Cheering him on was none other than the great Michael Phelps.

“Michael is very supportive,” Kalisz told ESPN. “He’ll give me a kick in the [butt] if I need it, and sometimes I need it. Michael has been an older brother to me in my life. I remember interacting with Michael when I was 6 years old — and here we are 21 years later.'”

Kalisz’s return to Team USA swimming is a significant boost for the Americans as they look to rack up a plethora of gold medals in Tokyo. He already won the 400-meter individual medley, Team USA’s first gold medal of the 2021 Olympics.

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Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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