Ryan Kao is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally from southern California, Kao made the move up north to swim for Cal and study Computer Science. He finds the Cal men’s program to be somewhat of a brotherhood, and is a motivational environment for him. Born May 6, 1996 to parents, Pan Kao and Lieling Hwang, Kao swam for La Mirada Armada in Southeast Los Angeles. Kao is primarily a middle distance swimmer, but also adds some depth in the 200 backstroke and can even handle a 200 butterfly. In the 2014 recruiting class Kao was the 34th recruit overall, and he was the one of the top 10 in the state of California. He also qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials as just a sixteen-year-old.
Kao is in his first season as a Cal Bear.
At Kennedy High School Kao is a five-time CIF champion and also a three-time Empire League MVP. He competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing 67th overall.