Ryan Held

Ryan Held (born June 27, 1995) is an American freestyle swimmer who specializes in the sprint events, and is currently sponsored by Arena.

Ryan Held
Held after winning the 4×100 m freestyle relay at the 2016 Olympics
Personal information
National team United States
Born (1995-06-27) June 27, 1995[1][2]
Springfield, Illinois[3]
College teamNorth Carolina State University[3]

He attended Christ the King grade school in Springfield, Illinois, and attended high school at Sacred-Heart Griffin,[4] where he graduated in 2014 and was coached by Dr. James Stegeman.[5] During his senior year in 2014, Held was named Illinois State Swimmer of the Year.

At the 2016 US trials he qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics as a member of the 4×100 meter freestyle relay team.[3] In the Olympic heats, he swam a split time of 47.79 on the second leg, impressing the coaching staff enough to give him the nod to swim in the final. Although Held’s time was not as fast as Anthony Ervin’s, head coach Bob Bowman made the decision due to youth since "Younger legs, coming back so quickly".[6] In the final he split 47.73 on the third leg to preserve Team USA's lead, winning the gold medal together with Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, and Nathan Adrian. Held's emotional outpouring on the medal stand was widely broadcast and made him a social media darling.[7]


  1. Ryan Held Archived August 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. rio2016.com
  2. "U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming, Men's 100m Freestyle Final, Start list". Omega Timing. June 29, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  3. "SHG grad Ryan Held going to Olympics in swimming relay". The State Journal-Register. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  4. "Ryan Held Bio - SwimSwam". Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  5. Feldman, Eric. "Friends, Family, Coaches React to Ryan Held Gold Medal". WICS. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  6. Ryan Held Breaks Tears. Daily Mail (UK) 8 Aug 2016

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