Tyler Clary is an American swimmer and Olympic gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Clary won the 200m backstroke with a new Olympic record. In international competition, Clary has won 12 medals between the Olympics, FINA World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, and Pan American Games.
Tyler Clary began swimming when he was eight years old. In 2006, he competed in the FINA Junior World Championships and was named the male performer of the meet after winning four medals. At the time, his name was Scott Flowers, but he later legally changed his name to Tyler Scott Clary. He graduated high school in 2007 in Riverside, CA and began training with Fullerton Aquatics under Jon Urbancheck, better known as FAST Swimming, in Fullerton, CA.
Clary enrolled at the University of Michigan and swam collegiately for three years before going professional. In that time, he was a three time NCAA Champion (400 IM in 2009 & 2010, 200 backstroke in 2009) and earned NCAA All-American honors 11 times.
2009 was a great year for Clary — At the NCAA championships, he broke Michael Phelps’ 400 IM American record and Ryan Lochte’s 200 backstroke American record. Later that year, he qualified for the 2009 World Championships in Rome where he earned a silver medal in the 400 IM, only finishing second to Ryan Lochte. He was named the 2009 Breakout Performer of the Year at the Golden Goggles Awards.
In 2010, Clary earned three silver medals at the Pan Pac Championships and also qualified for the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, China. At that meet in 2011, he earned two medals (silver and bronze).
2012 Olympic Trials
In the summer of 2012, Clary qualified for his first Olympic team. He started off the Olympic Trials with what many consider the most courageous swim of the meet, by challenging Michael Phelps and Tyler Clary in the 400 IM. The trio ran away from the field, and Clary put a ton of pressure on Phelps and Lochte, but ultimately finished third, missing the Olympic team in that event. Throughout the rest of the meet, Clary finished second in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke, securing his spot on the Olympic Team.
2012 Olympic Games
At the 2012 Olympics, Clary finished fifth in the 200m butterfly and won the Gold medal in the 200m backstroke with an Olympic record time of 1:53.41. Lochte was the favorite to win that event that year as the defending Olympic and World Champion, but Clary over took Lochte in the last 50 meters to earn his first Gold medal in international competition.
2013 World Championships
Clary secured his spot on the 2013 World Championship team, where he earned a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke.
2013 Duel in the Pool
Later that fall, Clary competed in the Duel in the Pool against the European All Stars. He finished second in the second in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke and fifth in the 200 IM and the 400 IM.
In 2014, Clary had a great national championship meet which put him on the 2014 Pan Pacific Championship team and the 2015 World Championship Team. At the national championships, he won the 200 backstroke and the 400 IM. He also finished second in the second in the 200 butterfly and third in the 200 IM.
2014 Pan Pac Championships
At the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Australia, he earned a gold medal in the 200 backstroke, a silver medal in the 400 IM, and a bronze medal in the 200 butterfly. In his only other swim, he was just off the podium, finishing fifth in the 200 IM.
Clary trains at SwimMAC with SwimMAC Team Elite under Coach David Marsh. Tyler also trains part of the year (for his distance base-work) at the University of Michigan with head coach Mike bottom and the rest of Club Wolverine Elite. After his swimming career is over, Tyler has plans to become a professional racecar driver.
2015 World Championships
In August 2015 Clary qualified for the World Championships Team that was set to compete in Kazan. Clary competed in the 200-meter backstroke, as he advanced from the semi-finals in 7th place, just two seconds behind the no. one qualifier. In the championship final Clary dropped nearly a half second to hold his position, and finish 7th place. In arguably his best event Clary finished 4th in the 400-meter IM, where he dropped nearly one second from the semi-finals.