Aaron Peirsol

Aaron on pushing through

“Set a goal and stick to it through the struggles. I don’t know if it’s mental, physical or what, but when the time is right and you’re prepared, you’ll push through and make it happen.”

Few athletes in any sport have done what Aaron Peirsol has accomplished: Consistently breaking his own world records. You can count on it. When the pressure’s on, he surprises even himself.

This humble competitor knows someone could de-throne him at any time – and temporarily has on occasion – so he approaches every finals race with fierce determination and grit uncharacteristic of his dry-land laid-back persona.

To get the job done, Aaron sets time goals and applies the necessary hard work, improves his fitness and draws on his long experience. At age 15, he was the youngest American to break two minutes in the 200m back, and ten years later in 2009, his event world record is 1:51.92.

Six 100m and seven 200m backstroke world-record-setting performances to date make Aaron the backstroke king of his era.

Watch Aaron’s aha moments:


  • Birthday: July 23, 1983
  • Hometown: Irvine, California

Sweet Achievement:

“Reclaiming the 100m backstroke world record at the 2009 Nationals and becoming the first man to swim under 52 seconds at 51.94. Anyone can win a gold medal or set a world record at any time. There’s something to be said for consistency.”

Winning Record

  • Olympics
    2008 – Gold, 100m backstroke (WR); Silver, 200m backstroke; Gold, 400m medley relay (WR)
    2004 – Gold, 100m backstroke; Gold, 200m backstroke (OR); Gold, 400m medley relay (WR)
    2000 – Silver, 200m backstroke
  • World Championships
    2009 – Gold, 200m backstroke (WR); Gold, 400m medley relay (WR)
    2007 – Gold, 100m backstroke (WR); Silver, 200 backstroke
  • Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships
    2010 – Gold, 100m backstroke; Gold, 400m medley relay
  • Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool
    2009 – Silver, 100m backstroke; Bronze, 200m backstroke

Race Clips