Matias Koski is a Finnish Olympian who swam in the 2012 London Olympics in the men’s 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle. Koski is currently a junior at the University of Georgia where he’s studying Exercise and Sport Science. Born May 18, 1994 to Matti and Sanna Kioski, he represents Finland internationally, but his hometown is Duluth, Ga. Koski didn’t have to move far from home to attend Georgia, but the change in training certainly paid off. He says that his big time improvements are due to race strategy and he also explains that he has an accomplished distance group to train with. He’s Georgia’s school record holder in the 200 freestyle, and during his high school years he broke Georgia state records in the 100, 200, 500 as well as the 400 freestyle relay. Koski graduated from Northview High School where he swam for Dynamo Swim Club under Coach Rich Murphy. Although he’s a Finnish national champion, Koski is also a U.S. National Junior Champion. The Olympian is 6’5″ and was one of the top recruits in the class of 2012. Koski is a rare talent – he can swim anything from the 50 freestyle to the mile.
University of Georgia
As a freshman Koski’s adjustment to training as a Bulldog produced great results at the NCAA Championships. He finished third in the mile, which was swum in an early heat, fourth in the 500 freestyle, ninth in the 200 freestyle, finished 10th as a member of the 800 freestyle relay and was also a member of the 400 freestyle relay. He was named to the First-Team All-SEC and to the All-Freshman Team after his performance at the SEC Championships. He earned SEC Freshman of the Week three times during his first season as a Bulldog, and he made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Koski followed up an impressive first year as a Bulldog by earning more All-American honors as a sophomore. At the 2014 NCAA Championships Koski finished fourth in both the 200 and 500 freestyle races and also came in eighth in the 1,650 freestyle. In addition to his individual swims he swam on the 800 freestyle relay that finished ninth, the 400 medley relay that took fourth and he also swam a leg on the 400 freestyle relay that finished 14th.
Koski was a junior Bulldog in the 2014-2015 season. He received the Harvey Humphries Swimming and Diving Scholarship, and posted an NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 500 freestyle in the first half of the season. At the NCAA Championships Koski started off the meet with the 500-yard free. Although he didn’t make the championship final, Koski took the gold in the consolation final, posting a time that would’ve placed 3rd overall. The same situation occurred in the 200-yard free, where Koski finished 9th winning the consolation final of the event. Up to the this point Koski seemed to be having a disappointing meet after making all three championship finals the year before. Koski this time touched in 1st place in the 1,650-yard free, touching in 14:32.38, two seconds ahead of the field.
Koski has been a force on the international swimming scene – his breakout meet was at the 2008 European Youth Olympic Festival. He then was the 2011 Finnish national champion in the 100m and 400m freestyles and went on to compete at the 2011 Youth European Championships where he came in sixth in the 200m freestyle.
A year later he made the Finnish Olympic Team competing in the 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyles – his best finish was 22nd in the 400m freestyle. In 2013 he represented Finland at the 2013 World Championships in Spain. He is the Finnish record holder in the 800m freestyle.