Tyler Clary's Secret Struggle Before Gold Medal Win

Tyler Clary's grandparents cheered him from Riverside during his gold medal race

On the day of his last Olympic competition it didn't matter that Tyler Clary's grandparents and uncle weren't in London. They were watching live online and they had a front-row seat as Clary swam for the gold in the 200m backstroke.

His grandmother, Deb Flowers, watched intensely.

“That was the smartest race I've ever seen him swim,” she said.

Before and during the match you could see her nerves on edge. At age 12, Clary declared to his family that he'd be in the Olympics one day.

On Thursday, he did more that make good on that promise.

But what we didn't know when Clary hit the water at the London Olympics was that family members were worried about an injury from the day before. His mom had emailed his grandparents overnight, writing that he had hit the side of the pool.

“He hurt his hand and she said his hand is fine, he feels good, but he didn't get any sleep from the night before either,” Deb said.


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Bud Flowers says his grandson has been tireless in the pursuit of his Olympic dreams.

He trains “six days a week and, you know, swimming six to seven miles a day,” he said.

As his family in Riverside watched, a text came in from London from Tyler’s mother: “He got number 1, gold medal.”

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