Ryan Held: Photos Of Swimmer Crying While American Flag Was Being Raised
Ryan Held of Team USA debuted with his first gold during his first attempt in this year’s Rio Olympics.Advertisement
Held played in the 4x100m freestyle relay with his veteran teammate Michael Phelps. Completing the official USA team for 4x100m relay includes Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian.
But what captivated Americans and spectators alike was when Held wept while the American flag was being raised, making him an instant crowd favorite. Although the sport was a team event, Held played a vital role in protecting the lead before he turned over to Adrian, America’s best sprinter, the State Journal Register reported.
Held started his swimming career in the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, where he finished senior high in 2014. During his senior year, he set and broke several records nationwide, the sports website SwimSwam reported.
Held was named Swimmer of the Year in the state of Illinois in 2014. He then continued his swimming stint when he entered North Carolina State University, where he joined the school’s sprinting team.
Journey to Rio
Held’s road to Rio was not easy, especially when he had to compete with other equally-competitive and skilled sprinters in America. True enough, his effort paid off when he qualified to be the fourth member of the 4x100m freestyle relay team for Team USA.
“I’ve heard the national anthem thousands of times before, but there was something different about this one. I just couldn’t hold back the tears. At first, I kept my composure, and about five minutes later, I called my mother bawling,” Held was quoted as saying by the Charlotte Observer.