Tyler Clary's grandparents in Yucaipa are glued to their TV set to watch the swimmer -- who rained in Fullerton -- attempt to win a gold medal in London. Craig Fiegener reports for the NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on July 30, 2012.
SoCal Olympic swimmer Tyler Clary finished fourth in his semi-final heat Monday in the 200-meter butterfly, but he needed to finish in the top eight overall to make the final of his first Olympic event.
He made it, finishing fifth overall. The final of the men's 200m butterfly is scheduled for 11:49 am. PT Tuesday.
"It feels a heck of a lot better now than two minutes ago," said Clary just after the second semi-final.
The 23-year-old was born in Redlands, graduated from Poly High in Riverside and trained in Fullerton.
His grandmother says he's making good on a promise he made when he was 12 years old.
"He always told me, even when he was very young, that some day he was going to the Olympics. Well, you know, I'd say, yeah that's nice," said Tyler's grandmother, Deb Flowers.
"She told me to give her an ear jerk for her," said Clary who tugged on the lobe of his ear. "I'm really excited, and so thankful for how supportful my family is, and on top of that, not just my family, but the people that have been behind me the whole way."
Clary placed just ahead of Michael Phelps in the preliminary race, reminding many of Clary's recent comment that was Phelps asking to get beat.
"We sat down and talked about it, and he understands," Clary said. "It's been gone for weeks.
Now both will compete for the gold.
"There are some things I want to work on for the finals," Clary said, "and I think it will be better tomorrow."