2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Held Pounds Drum Before Panthers Game

2016 U.S. Olympian Ryan Held pounded the ceremonial drum before Sunday’s game between the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings.

In front of 75,000 fans at Bank of America Stadium, Held participated in what has become a huge honor in his new-found home in North Carolina.

From Panthers.com

Keep Pounding has become a team mantra in honor of late Carolina Panthers player and coach Sam Mills. Mills first used the phrase “Keep Pounding” as a coach in an emotional speech to the team prior to the Panthers’ playoff game versus the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 2, 2004. He spoke about commitment, dedication to teammates, team effort and never giving up. Mills asked the players to “Keep Pounding.”

Immediately following the coin toss before every home game, an honorary drummer rallies the entire stadium by hitting the massive six-foot Keep Pounding Drum four times to signify four quarters. Keep Pounding Drummers come from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, but all have overcome a great trial or adversity that has not only made them strong but also pushes them to make others around them stronger.

Originally from Springfield, Illinois, Held now goes to college at North Carolina State, about 2.5 hours from where the Panthers play in Charlotte. He was a part of the American team at the 2016 Olympic Games where he swam the 3rd leg of the gold-medal-winning 400 free relay, splitting 47.73. He was joined on that relay with Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, and Nathan Adrian.

Held’s presence wasn’t good luck for the Panthers – they lost their second game of the season, falling 22-10.

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Sir Swimsalot
7 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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