News & Politics

Sterling Native Matt McLean Won a Gold Medal in London Yesterday

McLean helped the US to gold in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay yesterday, an event the country has won in four of the past five Olympics.

Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Last night, when the American men’s 800-meter free relay won Olympic gold over France,
Baltimore’s hometown boy
Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever. He’s now the proud owner of 15 Olympic golds,
two silvers, and two bronzes, though he told
Anderson Cooper earlier this year on
60 Minutes that he doesn’t actually have all the hardware anymore—one gold from Athens got lost.
He’s not sure when.

Phelps’s 19th medal (his 15th gold) wasn’t just big news for the superstar and his
family, though. It came in a relay, the result of great swims by seven members of
Team USA—including local product
Matt McLean.

McLean, who grew up in Sterling, Virginia, and graduated from Potomac Falls High School
and the University of Virginia, made the Olympic team, his first time, by finishing
fifth in the 200 free at the US Olympic trials in June. He swam second on the morning
relay, finishing his leg in one minute and 46.68 seconds, helping the US to its first-place
seed for the night’s final.

Only the fastest swimmer from the morning group,
Conor Dwyer, was selected to swim in the final. He was joined there by three members of the
2008 relay that also won gold—Phelps,
Ryan Lochte, and
Ricky Berens—and the group won, beating France by just over three seconds. All seven swimmers
who competed for the US receive gold medals, though only the final four got to stand
on the podium last night.