Chase Kalisz earns silver at 2016 Rio Olympics


Photo provided by Mike Kalisz

Athletic Director Mike Kalisz stands with his son Chase Kalisz at the Rio Olympics. Chase Kalisz took home a silver for the US in the 1400 meter Individual Medley.

Max Herbkersman, Sports Editor

Some children grow up dreaming of becoming astronauts, race car drivers, or NFL stars, but others dream bigger. For Chase Kalisz, son of Athletic Director Mike Kalisz, his dreams of becoming an Olympian came true.

Rio de Janiero, home to the 2016 Summer Olympics, pooled athletes from around the world, including Chase Kalisz who spent numerous hours training for one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world: swimming.

In August, it all came down to one last race for Chase Kalisz. He swam for the U.S. in the 400 meter individual medley. Early on in the race, it was apparent that the race belonged to either Kalisz or Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino.

In the end Hagino was victorious, but Chase Kalisz came close in second, tallying up another silver medal for the United States.

Chase Kalisz now 22 years old began swimming when he was five, and has been swimming ever since. He has been coached by Bob Bowman, who also coached 23 time Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps.

Chase Kalisz attended Fallston High School and graduated in 2012. Following high school, he attended The University of Georgia, where he immediately made an impact on the school’s swim team. He immediately began winning races for the Bulldogs, winning the 200-yard butterfly, 200-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard IM at his first meet.

Later that year he won the 400 IM at the 2012 AT&T Winter Nationals. The next two years, he won the 2013 NCAA Division 1400-yard IM.

For his 2015-2016 collegiate season, he decided to “redshirt.” He took a break from competing for the Bulldogs and moved to Arizona so he could focus on training for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Michael Phelps, one of the greatest swimmer of all time, has given high praise to Kalisz throughout his swimming career. Both Phelps and Chase Kalisz have trained and swum together at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Chase Kalisz said, “Michael’s been like an older brother to me that I never had. He’s been the one guy that I’ve looked up to my entire life. I’ve never had a role model as big as him.”

His father, Mike Kalisz, was able to attend the summer games in Rio de Janiero for ten days. “Rio was an incredible place,” Mike Kalisz said, “At first I was apprehensive to go because of Zika, and crime, but the people were wonderful.”

His favorite part of the games was, Mike Kalisz said, “watching my son not only represent the U.S. but to be fortunate enough to win a silver medal.”