Grevers, who grew up and began his swimming career in Lake Forest, came away with the city’s first individual Olympic gold medal when he won the 100-meter backstroke today at the London Olympics Aquatic Center.
And Grevers did it in style as well, setting an Olympic record in the process with a time of 52.16, breaking the old mark of 52.54 seconds.
After realizing his dream, Grevers threw a fist pump into the air and then slid over to the next lane and embraced fellow American Nick Thoman, who finished second. Thoman won the silver medal in 52.92.
Grevers got off to a good start, but trailed France’s Camille LaCourt at the 50 meter mark by .05 of a second. But Grevers came off his flip turn and when he came up out of the water, he pulled ahead of LaCourt and then rocketed his way in the final 20 meters to become an Olympic champion.
“The training the Americans receive allows them great technical skills,” one of the British announcers said . “While Grevers was underwater, he blew past everyone.”
Grevers was all smiles and blew a kiss to his family and fiancée Annie Chandler, who were all in the stands waving and American flag, as Grevers exited the water.
Grevers, who picked up a silver medal Sunday as part of the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team, will have another opportunity for gold. He was added to the men’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay team. That quartet will compete Friday at 5:49 a.m. Chicago time and 1:49 p.m. in London. The finals are slated for 2:27 p.m. here time and 10:27 p.m. in London Saturday.
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