Berens, BBA '10, Swims to Record-Breaking Gold in London
What is your job when swimming a relay leg just before the most successful Olympian of all time? Ricky Berens, BBA '10, received one straightforward request from anchor Michael Phelps before the 4x200 meter freestyle relay final on July 31.
"I just told them, give me the biggest lead you possibly can," Phelps said after the race.
Berens, swimming the third leg of the relay after Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer, delivered, preserving his team's lead and giving Phelps a four-second advantage over the competition.
USA won gold with a time of 6:59.70. No other team finished under 7 minutes. It was a historic race, earning Phelps his 19th Olympic medal, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Berens, who also won 4x200 relay gold in the 2008 Bejing Olympics, told NBC, “Every time a commentator remarks on the feat, I’m a part of that. To be [able] to share the glory, I’m a part of something special.”
The win capped off a big week for Berens, who also won silver by swimming in the preliminary round of the 4x100 meter freestyle relay. He also competed in the 200 meter freestyle—his first ever individual Olympic race—but did not make the finals.
Berens is an avid social media user and saw his Twitter followers quadruple to more than 36,000 people since the start of the Games. Below, see a collection of tweets, videos, and photos capturing everything from his thoughts on retirement, to a Queen Elizabeth sighting, to appearing on The Today Show.