Tyler Clary is a swimmer from Orange County who pulled off one of the biggest upsets at the London Olympics. Many people didn't know who Tyler Clary was, but he got in the pool, beat Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter backstroke, and set a new Olympic record! And he's only 23.
Tyler's race was unforgettable, and if you didn't watch it live, just check out the look of shock on his face when he realized what he had just accomplished.
While watching the Olympics, I thought about how much I'd love to interview a gold-medal winning Olympian, and see and touch a gold medal at some point in my lifetime. It was an amusing goal and one that I thought I would never ever achieve.
Then I found myself on the red carpet covering the Do Something Awards, which airs tonight on Vh1, when I spotted Clary. I got to take a picture with Tyler, hold his gold medal, and interview him. Now I call no member of the male species a gentleman ever, but Tyler is so soft spoken, humble and likable! If I could use one word to describe him, I would say he's a gentleman. But enough of my intro, now let's get to it!
POTP: What have you been doing since you got back from London?
Tyler: My publicist and managers have done a great job at getting me out to all these different events, meeting people, talking to people, and kind of finding a way for me to start getting involved with giving back. That's been something I've been lacking on a little bit. I've been looking forward to give back in some way and I'm really looking forward to meeting people tonight.
POTP: I loved your parents at the Olympics, they were so proud of you. Did they also teach you to give back?
Tyler: One of the biggest things that my mom's always taught me is that even though you have all this stuff, it's not going to be as satisfying around you if you know there are people in need. And if you need to give the clothes off your back to help someone, you should do it.
POTP: Are you training with your same coach for the next Olympics?
Tyler: My current coach is retired. I'm actually moving back to Michigan in October to finish up my degree.
POTP: Do you plan on getting more medals in Rio?
Tyler: If I go to the next Olympics, I'm going to have a specific goal for the number and colors of medals [laughs], but I'm gonna keep that with me right now.
POTP: So you're not trying to go Hollywood right now. What are some of your goals?
Tyler: My major is computer science and once I finish that I'm actually working on getting involved in auto racing. I have a whole lot of fun stuff going on in the next couple weeks with meeting drivers, meeting team owners. I'm actually going to be getting in a couple of cars the next few months, kind of learning what I love and where I should look at getting into after the next Olympics.
POTP: Where are you going to keep your gold medal?
Tyler: It will probably be in a safe unless I have to take it out for some specific reason, but I'm not the type of person that has a bunch of trophies or medals in my house, out and about for show. Actually all of the world championships medals that I've ever gotten, I've given immediately to my mom and she does whatever she wants with 'em, but I'm gonna keep this one [laughs]!
POTP: When you're not training, how often are you swimming? Do you prefer not to swim very much when you aren't training?
Tyler: I actually haven't been in the water [in a pool] since I finished my race. I've been out in the ocean a couple times and that was about it. I'm actually getting ready to go back to my old gym and wrestle with it for the first time in a year and a half. I'm looking forward to that.
POTP: Do you surf too?
Tyler: I do, I do surf.
POTP: SoCal native.
Tyler: Of course!