RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A day after narrowly missing gold in the men’s Olympic 400 meters individual medley, American Chase Kalisz was already thinking about his next shot at the top of the Olympic podium, when the games move to Tokyo in 2020.
“My goal is obviously to be in Tokyo and I’m more driven than ever after last night,” the 22-year-old native of Baltimore told reporters the day after being edged out by Japan’s Kosuke Hagino. “I’m going to try to set myself the next four years to be in a position to contend for a gold medal again.”
Kalisz took a year off from college to prepare for the Rio Olympics, moving to Arizona to train under Bob Bowman, who also coaches American swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps. He credited that year with Saturday’s result.
“The biggest thing was kind of me being isolated, not having any other outside distractions from swimming. So it was eat, sleep, swim and that’s all I did,” Kalisz said. “I did everything right that I possibly could for a year.”
Kalisz overcame a youthful bout of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which paralyzed him for six months, before becoming an elite athlete, a trend that runs in a family where his older sister competed at the college level and two younger siblings contested the U.S. Olympic trials.
He said he hoped his medal would inspire them to similar performances: “My two younger siblings, I would like to think that they can look back on this and hope it motivates them to kind of want to be their best.”
Editing by Frank Pingue