Blake Pieroni Out of 2022 US World Trials, Plans To Have Knee Surgery In March

One of the best male freestylers in the country won’t be vying for a spot on the U.S. World Championship team this year.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Blake Pieroni announced on Instagram Friday morning that he won’t be competing at the upcoming U.S. World Championship Trials in April due to an ongoing knee injury.

Pieroni said he spent the last week in New York meeting with an orthopedic surgeon, and he’ll be having knee surgery on March 11th “if everything goes according to plan.”


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Pieroni’s injury stems back to last November when he was forced to pull out of the semi-finals of the International Swimming League (ISL) season after saying he hurt the knee “as a result of getting back into lifting and going too hard too fast.”

The 26-year-old is a two-time U.S. Olympian, winning a gold medal on the men’s 400 freestyle relay at the 2016 Games in Rio as a member of the prelim squad.

Last summer in Tokyo, Pieroni swam a critical 47.58 leg in the final (swimming second) as the Americans defended their Olympic title in a time of 3:08.97, the fastest textile time in history. The former Indiana Hoosier added a second gold medal at the 2020 Games after swimming the preliminary freestyle leg on the men’s 400 medley relay that ultimately won gold in world record time.

In addition to his Olympic success, Pieroni is also a four-time long course world championship gold medalist and a three-time short course world champion, including winning an individual title at the 2018 SC Worlds in the men’s 200 freestyle. He also narrowly missed an individual medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 100 free, placing fourth in a time of 47.88.

Since the beginning of 2020, Pieroni ranks fourth among U.S. men in the 100 free (48.13) and seventh in the 200 free (1:46.57).

The 2022 U.S. International Team Trials will take place April 26-30 in Greensboro, N.C., with the 2022 World Championships currently scheduled for June 18-July 3 in Budapest.

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2 years ago

Hasn’t been the same swimmer since he dissed HEB grocery store.

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Is that Brooks Curry or a scarecrow in the background of the cover photo?

2 years ago

Sorry to hear Blakey P. Pepperoni. But in all seriousness hope for a quick recovery.

Steve Nolan
2 years ago

that orthopaedists office seems awfully decadent

2 years ago

Hoping for a speedy recovery for Blake! Thinking about 200 freestylers does anyone know if Seliskar and Katie McLaughlin are still swimming?

Grimes/Mcintosh combo is the future
Reply to  swimswamswum
2 years ago

Of course. They should be still swimming, as they are both under a Speedo contract.

2 years ago

Rest in Pepperoni Pepperoni man. Ur too hawt

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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