Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL
Size: 6’2/194 LBS
Riding His Second Wind: The gregarious swimmer, who is as famous for his reality-TV exploits as his Olympic success, almost called it quits in 2014. Two knee injuries six months apart in 2013 and 2014 put Rio in question. “There was a point during the rehab process where I thought to myself, ‘I had a good run,’” he says. “‘Maybe I should just stop now because if I get back in the pool I won’t be the same athlete I was.’”
But He Hit the Gym Instead: “I just rehabbed the hell out of it. I recovered faster than they’ve ever seen before,” he says.
Moonlighting As a Fighter: The 11-time Olympic medalist turns to boxing three days a week for training and stress relief. “It allows me to take out my aggression and it allows me to hit things, something I can’t do when swimming,” he says.
The Cheat Meal He Lives By: He might look like a chiseled male model, but every Friday since he was 8 years old he’s eaten pizza and wings. Even if he’s swimming for gold the next day.
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin August 5.