2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler Clary to Undergo Open Heart Surgery

2012 Olympic Champion Tyler Clary will undergo open heart surgery Friday, August 6. 

Clary made the announcement on his Instagram account, explaining the reasoning behind the surgery. According to Clary’s post, he suffers from a “very leaky aortic valve”, which has caused his heart to operate at less than 70% efficiency for his entire life. The discovery was only made last October during Clary’s physical.

Clary, now 32-years-old, was the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 backstroke. Up until last week, his winning time of 1:53.41 stood as the Olympic record in the event.  Russian Evgeny Rylov just took down Clary’s record in Tokyo with his own gold medal performance. At the 2012 Games, Clary also contested the 200 butterfly, coming in 5th overall with a time of 1:55.06.

Clary retired from competitive swimming in 2016 after placing third at the US Olympic Trials, failing to qualify for his second Olympic Games. After his retirement, Clary was planning to join NASCAR racing, originally targeting the Monster Energy Cup Series, which is set to kick-off this year. However, he is currently working at Northwest Mutual as an insurance representative. 

According to healthcare company Lifespan, approximately 500,000 Americans undergo some form of open heart surgery every year. 

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Penguin
1 year ago

could we get an update when possible? I think there are a lot of fans who want to make sure he is recovering well from his surgery
thanks for the coverage.

The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

Big fan of Tyler Clary. Get well soon champ!

Old Retired Guy
1 year ago

Good fortune and best outcomes for you, Tyler…

Mande
1 year ago

Praying for Tyler during his surgery later today and for his family. So enjoyed watching his Fitter and Faster videos during the COVID shutdown 2020 that kept swimmers and their families in touch with the sport when they couldn’t be at the pool. All the best!

Cate
1 year ago

OMG. Sending well wishes to you for a speedy recovery, Tyler. Stay strong. 💪

Cornbread
1 year ago

So like I’m not a heart surgeon. But if he’s getting 100% heart capacity assuming it goes well – why not try a bit of training? Maybe he have a comeback

anonymous
Reply to  Cornbread
1 year ago

Because you don’t want to put that much stress on the new valve or on his enlarged left ventricle. He is young and the valve needs to last and work for many more years to come.

612
Reply to  anonymous
1 year ago

But I mean….it’s the implication

Mark Usher
Reply to  anonymous
1 year ago

The enlargement (or hypertrophy) is a result of the ventricle having to work harder to overcome the leaky valve, In my case, the enlargement of my left ventricle reversed itself within about 18 months once the valve was fixed. Like any other muscle, the heart will adapt in response to the loads placed on it.

Idc
1 year ago

I can’t with the picture y’all chose it’s making eye contact with me

612
Reply to  Idc
1 year ago

So there’s this hot dog GIF….

Penguin
1 year ago

How many people have gone 1:53 in the 200 fly and 200 back?

Penguin
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

Wishing the best for him. Open heart surgery can be scary, though it has gotten so much safer in recent years.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

Considering that the complete list of sub 1:54 swimmers in back is Piersol, Irie, Lochte, Larkin, Rylov, Clary, Murphy, Xu, we can safely say that Clary is the only one.

Phelps is the only one close with a 1:54.6 200 back from 2007.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

Tea rex
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

Unless I am mistaken, only one.

Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
Reply to  Penguin
1 year ago

Phelps could have

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 year ago

But he didn’t. He made the 200 back Olympic team and dropped it. He did a 1:55.86.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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