“Always believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams. It took me until I was 32 years old and competing in my third Olympics to finally achieve my first individual medal.”
Jason Lezak has been the go-to guy on more than 10 U.S. relays since 1999. In fact, he’d anchored six world-record-setting teams through 2007. There was one top spot, however, that seemed out of reach. The gold medal eluded the 400m freestyle relay team at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. 2008 had to be different.
Coaches turned to Jason to anchor the 2008 relay to end the streak and take back the gold. He didn’t disappoint. Jason’s split of 46.06 is the fastest ever in the sport. As if jet-propelled, he shot to the wall in the final seconds finishing first in world-record time. Done. Jason helped restore the team’s pride in the event that the U.S. men’s team owned from 1968 through 1996.
Jason’s eighth world record came on the final day in Beijing in the 400m medley relay, proving once again that he’s the guy you want swimming on your team.
Watch Jason’s aha moments:
- Birthday: November 12, 1975
- Hometown: Irvine, California
“Helping to bring back the gold medal to team USA in the 4x100 free relay after being a part of the two previous Olympics where we were favored, but won the silver and bronze.”
2012 – Silver, 400m freestyle relay (P) 3:12.59
2008 – Gold, 400m freestyle relay (WR); Gold, 400m medley relay (WR); Bronze, 100m freestyle
2004 – Gold, 400m medley relay (WR); Bronze, 400m freestyle relay
2000 – Gold, 400m medley relay; Silver, 400m freestyle relay
- World Championships
2011 – Bronze, 400m freestyle relay
2007 – Gold, 400m freestyle relay
2006 – Silver, 400m medley relay (scm); Bronze, 400m freestyle relay (scm)
- Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships
2010 – Gold, 400m freestyle relay