Record quest sustains GreversOlympic backstroke gold medallist Matt Grevers (left) and fiancée Annie Chandler signing autographs for Barbadian swimmers. (Picture by Justin Marville.)
By Justin Marville | Wed, September 12, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Matt Grevers finally got his gold in London.
Now it’s on to the other goal.
The world’s top backstroker still has his sights on becoming the greatest ever, but says he isn’t disappointed at failing to set the world record during the Olympic Games, as Aaron Peirsol’s historic 100-metre mark gives him further incentive to continue swimming at a high level.
“If anything, this is my new goal,” said Grevers of setting the new mark after winning his first individual gold medal at the just-concluded Summer Games.
“If I had gotten that world record, then who knows, I might have retired because I accomplished everything I wanted to but now I automatically have a new goal and my mind is set to it.
“This is great for my swimming because I still have something to shoot for,” he added.
Grevers made the comments as part of a four-member team – including fiancée Annie Chandler and two other United States Olympic swimmers – that conducted the historic Mutual Omaha Breakout! Swim Clinic here in Barbados over the weekend.
It comes just one month after the world leader broke through to win the 100 backstroke in a new Olympic record of 52.16 seconds, bettering his silver medal finish four years ago in Beijing.
And this was the second time Grevers came within a hair of Peirsol’s 51.94 mark this year alone, with the six-foot-eight phenomenon having won his U.S. Olympic trial in 52.08 seconds – the second fastest 100 backstroke clocking ever.
Competing in his second Olympic Games, Grevers further engraved his place in American swimming history by swimming the lead leg for the men’s gold-medal winning 4x100 medley relay – Michael Phelps’ last competitive race.
“Life is good and I feel very blessed,” Grevers said of his whirlwind year, which includes getting engaged to Chandler back in February.
“Just to be even on that medley relay with Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian in history, in his final race is something I will tell my grandkids about.
“I was given a lot of talent but I’ve been humbled by all these experiences I’ve been able to go through,” he added.
And they’re not done just yet, as Grevers is set to prepare for December’s Short Course World Championships with Peirsol’s record in mind.
A third Olympic appearance might not be out of the question, either for the towering American, who will be just 31 by the onset of the 2016 Rio Games.
“I think there’s one more Olympics left in me because I’m still getting better and until I start getting worse I’ll keep it going,” explained Grevers.
“But the more immediate goal is the Short Course Worlds, so I have to get back into shape because I haven’t done anything since the Olympics. That alone is exciting for me just to think about.”
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