Andrew Wilson Planning To Retire Post-Tokyo, Will Attend Grad School At Oxford

Upon the conclusion of the originally scheduled 2020 Olympic Games, American breaststroker Andrew Wilson was planning on hanging up his goggles competitively. And while the coronavirus pandemic has bought him an extra year in the sport, that remains the plan post-Tokyo 2021.

Wilson, 27, will head off to grad school in the fall at Oxford University in England, having deferred it by a year due to the Olympic postponement and COVID-19, where he’ll study Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing.

Wilson broke the news speaking with Coleman Hodges on the SwimSwam Podcast.

“I could see myself swimming for another year because I was kind of getting…not nervous about retiring, but I know that I’m going to miss it,” Wilson said of having the extra year in the sport. “Once I’m done I know I’m going to miss it.

“But that said, I’m also really excited for grad school. The last year I applied to grad schools, and I was set. I knew where I was going and all that. So that was going to start in the fall. And so, if I was going to be swimming, it wasn’t going to be…seriously like it is now. It would more would be for the enjoyment and maybe to make a little money on the side. But I’m pretty happy that I’ve got another year in the sport.”

A native of Bethesda, MD., Wilson swam collegiately with Division III Emory before spending some time working with the pro group at the University of Texas. Since the fall of 2018, he has been training with the University of Georgia pro group in Athens.

What drew Wilson to Oxford?

“I ended up picking Oxford just because I’m really interested in Formula 1 engineering and Formula 1 modelling, stuff like that,” he said. “Geographically, Oxford’s in the team’s backyard, so there’s just more networking opportunities, things like that.”

Along with his desire to study F1, Wilson was also born in London and has always wanted to go back. For him, the draw goes far beyond what he’ll be doing in school.

“Outside the classroom it’s going to be a really great experience,” he said. “I’m going to learn a lot culturally in addition to in the classroom. So, yeah, it was a lot of different things, but I’m really excited.”

Since placing fifth in the 100 and fourth in the men’s 200 breaststroke at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, Wilson has established himself as the fastest and most consistent American in the breaststroke events.

After getting some valuable international experience at the 2017 World University Games, winning three gold medals, Wilson was the fastest U.S. swimmer in the 100 in both 2018 and 2019, and has been ranked either first or second in the 200 every year since 2017. This ultimately led him to a pair of sixth-place finishes at his first Long Course World Championships in 2019, along with a pair of silver medals in the men’s and mixed medley relays.

Since Rio, he is one of only two American men to break 59 seconds in the 100 breast, and one of four to crack 2:08 in the 200 breast.

Wilson, who opted out of competing in the ISL this season after swimming for the Cali Condors in 2019, raced in his first big competition since March at the Greensboro site of the U.S. Open, placing first overall in both the 100 (59.58) and 200 breast (2:09.83).

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2 years ago

If he was born in London does he also have dual citizenship? If so this is one of the rare cases where picking the US to represent is the easier path. Litherland went US over Japan and NZ for medium difficulty (also probably helps that Japan doesn’t technically offer dual citizenship).

Last edited 2 years ago by Reid
Reply to  Reid
2 years ago

This conspiracy theory does not hold very well

2 years ago

Hope he swims the varsity match. Huge fun and not as serious as NCs, someone of his caliber will make the blues times on light training.

Oxford actually have a really good breastroker, won the 200 at BUCS recently beating Craig Benson. It would be interesting to see if a lightly trained world class swimmer in Wilson can take down the records of a hard training national level swimmer.

Reply to  Togger
2 years ago

Hope he considers this!!

2 years ago

I remember hopping out of the pool after the 100 and 200 breast at 2017 NCAAs and being absolutely shocked by his times, only to then going on to be one of our best breaststrokers is insane. D3 Dreams!

2 years ago

Rip Cody better step up, hope he continues after Tokyo.

2 years ago

Pretty cool his plans for 2021 are Olympics and Oxford. My plans for 2021 are to gain more weight and lose more hair

2 years ago

That is one smart dude! That sounds like a great opportunity.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Pez
2 years ago

1088: the Bologna “Studium” was founded by students and for students. It is the oldest university in the Western world.
Bologna is older than Oxford, I looked it up to test my knowledge of medieval history. I’m not counting philosophy schools here in ancient Greek or Roman times that also could be considered a university of sorts.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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