Having won seven Olympic medals during his professional swimming career, Aaron Peirsol is an unforgettable American backstroker. While now retired, Peirsol still holds the 200 meter backstroke world record.
Here are nine facts about Olympic swimmer Aaron Peirsol.
1. University of Texas is Aaron Peirsol’s Alum
Although he was born in Newport Beach, CA, Peirsol studied political science at the University of Texas in Austin where he graduated in 2006. During his time with the Texas Longhorns, Peirsol earned the title of NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 2003 as a freshman.
2. Aaron Peirsol Went Pro in Before Graduating College
After his sophomore year in 2004, Aaron Peirsol went professional at the age of 20. Therefore he gave up his remaining two years of NCAA collegiate eligibility. Arron signed with Nike and began to train under Eddie Reese and Kris Kubik.
3. Aaron Peirsol Was American Swimmer of the Year in 2005
Michael Phelps was named the American Swimmer of the Year every year between 2003 and 2009 except for one—2005 when Peirsol took home this title.
4. Winner of 7 Medals at 3 Olympic Games
Peirsol won medals at every Olympic Games he competed in.
- 2000 Sydney Olympics – At the age of 17, Peirsol won silver in the 200 meter backstroke.
- 2004 Athens Olympics – At the age of 21, Peirsol won gold in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke and 4×100 meter medley relay.
- 2008 Beijing Olympics – At the age of 25, Peirsol won gold in the 100 meter backstroke and the 4×100 meter medley relay and silver in the 200 meter backstroke
Therefore, Aaron Peirsol is a seven-time Olympic medalist and three-time Olympian. As a result, he has five gold and two silver Olympic medals.
5. Aaron Won 36 Medals in Major International Swimming Competitions
Across all his swims at the Olympics, World Championship, American Championships, and Pan Pacific Championships, Aaron Peirsol has won a total of 36 medals—29 gold, 6 silver, and 1 bronze.
6. Aaron Peirsol Is a Spokesman for Oceana
Oceana is an international ocean conservatory group dedicated to “Protecting The World’s Oceans”. In addition to being a spokesman for Oceana, Peirsol is also an ambassador for the Global Water Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation.
7. “I ended up doing everything I set out to do”
These were the words of Peirsol when describing his reason for retiring from swimming. Consequently, at the age of 27 on February 2, 2011, Aaron Peirsol retired from professional swimming.
8. Peirsol Is an International Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee
Along with Dara Torres and Michael Phelps’ longtime swimming coach Bob Bowman, Aaron Peirsol was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
9. World Record Holder for 200 Meter LC Backstroke
Peirsol still holds the world record for the men’s 200 meter long course backstroke, an event that he swam back on July 31, 2009 at the World Championships in Rome, Italy. In addition, Peirsol also holds the world record in the men’s long course 4×100 meter medley relay along with teammates Eric Shanteau, Michael Phelps, and David Walters.
For a full bio, pictures, and videos of Aaron Peirsol, head on over to Olympic.org for more.
As a former Division I NCAA swimmer myself, I very much like blogging about swimming. Check out some of my other swimming blog posts here, and let me know what your favorite memory of Aaron Peirsol is in the comments below.