Born On: August 18th, 1987
Hometown: Champaign, Illinois
Resides in: Auburn, Alabama
Education: Auburn University '10
Coach: Brett Hawke
Tyler McGill went into the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials knowing that in his best event, the 100 fly, he was facing-off against history’s greatest swimmer: Michael Phelps. With only two making the trip to the Olympics in each individual event, and with a very deep field behind him, that left a lot of pressure on the broad shoulders of McGill.
But he didn’t approach the race with the attitude that he would try to make the Olympic Team. Instead, the determined McGill woke up one morning and decided that he would make the Olympic Team.
"There's a lot of guys that are trying to go to London, but there's a difference between trying and making that decision,” McGill said in a post-race interview. “So I was ready. I was ready for that swim and I was ready to perform the way I did."
Tyler took his 100 fly swim out with a controlled pace, and then unleashed on the closing 50 meters. He ran down three competitors to finish 2nd behind Phelps. In the process, he bested the United States’ other swimming superstar Ryan Lochte, making him the only swimmer who beat either of these two men in a final at the Olympic Trials.
Making the team was no surprise to Tyler, though, after his decision. He brings an internal confidence to each race, each session in the weight room, and each practice. At some point in their career, every true champion has to make the decision that he or she is good enough to achieve their goals, and in 2012, Tyler decided that he was going to achieve his.
Once he got to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, McGill continued his success and made the final in that same 100 fly, which is one of the tightest, most competitive, and most high-profile races at the Olympics.
Even for non-Olympians, this feeling of self-esteem is one of the greatest gifts that sports can give. Tyler believes in swimming and its transformative values. He recognizes what the sport can bring to life beyond the pool. Aside from new techniques and better strokes, Tyler’s goal is to ensure that every athlete walks away from his clinics ready to make the decision to be successful.