Ryan Murphy is sure to make a splash at the Tokyo Olympics.
"I'm really just excited to race," the Team USA swimmer said.
The decorated athlete shattered records in his Olympic debut in Rio back in 2016. Murphy came home with three gold medals after sweeping the backstroke events and the medley 4X100 m relay. This year, he's hoping to add a few more medals under his belt.
"It was an absolute dream come true in 2016 to win gold medals for Team USA, so I hope I can do that. I’ve got a lot of competition out there. It’s going to be really fun to line up next to those guys and see who’s the best on that day," Murphy said.
Not only is Murphy the world record holder in the men's 100 meter backstroke, but the competitive swimmer is also from our backyard.
"I absolutely loved growing up in Jacksonville. I think a lot of cities in Florida are underrated cities and Jacksonville definitely falls into that category. I think it’s so cool to be in a place where there is so much water. Especially as I grew up and it turned out that my talent was in the water," Murphy said.
When he's not breaking records in the pool, Murphy is committed to teaching everyone about the importance of drowning prevention. He's teamed up with Bridgestone to drive the message home about water safety and tire safety this summer.
“I really got into promoting water safety and making sure that everyone knows the importance of formalized swim lessons," he said. "They reduce the risk of drowning by about 90%."
During the pandemic, Murphy also found a way to train outside of the water.
“I was doing a lot of the dry land and weight workouts at my house so I outfitted my garage with a bunch of weights and it’s fun. The training has been really intense and really thorough so I’m excited to see how all of that hard work is going to pay off this summer."
As the Olympics inch closer, Murphy says he's looking forward to finally getting back into head-to-head competition.
"Everyone is so driven," he said. "They work so hard and to see that all come together at the Olympics, it’s really really cool to interact with people like that."