Tyler Clary Skips White House Visit To Race Cars, Lands on TMZ

  59 Gold Medal Mel Stewart | September 12th, 2012 | Featured, Lifestyle, News

Tyler Clary marches to the beat of a different drummer, and it has landed him on TMZ.com.  After defeating Ryan Lochte in London, winning Olympic gold in 200 meters backstroke, Clary’s getting a taste of fame beyond the pool.

Yes, Clary swims, and is considered by many to be the hardest working man in the sport, but he likes other things as well, things that trump visits to the White House to meet President Obama and the First Lady.

On September 14th the 2012 Olympic athletes will visit the White House, as they do after most Olympic Games, but Clary won’t be there, according to TMZ.

“I’d rather race cars,” Clary has explained.

Clary’s competitive nature goes beyond the pool deck to pro racing on the track, and he appears to have real designs on refining his skills. He’ll be in Fontana, California September 14th test driving cars and then on to the MATV 500 IndyCar Event the following day.

Clary also DJs. You can hear his sound here. 

Checkout Clary’s complete photo vault here. 

Fan him on Facebook here. 

And you have to follow this man on Twitter, re: puppies, music, cars and more!

In This Story

Comments

  1. Priyant Pratap says:
    0
    0

    I don’t agree with the justification comparing it to his competitive side. This move is both ungrateful, reeks of the douchebaggery that came with him with his comments on Michael Phelps and says alot about his appreciation for spending time with his fellow Olympians. Whatever.

  2. WHOKNOWS says:
    0
    0

    Is this a sign of his patriotism? What a snub!

    • Jiggsar says:
      0
      0

      Why all the Clary-bashing? Bravo for a guy who can win a gold medal and still run his own life. It seems the more people are in the spotlight, the more lame people want to judge them.

      Many Americans believe the meaning of patriotism is the Patriot Act, and this year it’s the National Defense Authorization Act. What’ll it be next? Just keep swimming.

  3. Robin says:
    0
    0

    …That’s pretty lame on his part.

  4. Ana says:
    0
    0

    I don’t want to hate on the guy, but he does things that make me like him less.
    It’s not what he does, but the way he does it or say it. Seems ungrateful and full of himself for someone who is early on his career and has accomplished very little in comparison with other athletes.

    • Freebee says:
      0
      0

      He’s accomplished a lot, even comparatively–still I agree 100%. Why be a turd unless that’s just what you are.

    • duckduckgoose says:
      0
      0

      Actually I think Clary’s getting smarter. He got absolutely roasted for his comments on Phelps. Despite his win in London, he’s still not a hot commercial commodity. If he said flat out he didn’t respect Obama, he’d get roasted again in the press and potentially become even more damaged goods commercially. This way, he makes his point without too much collateral damage commercially.

  5. Gold Medal Mel Stewart says:
    0
    0

    I went to White House twice after the Games, and a lot of Olympians didn’t go… I don’t know, but maybe Tyler’s a republican, and doesn’t agree with the current admin’s policies… Either way, Olympians do skip out on this trip to do other things. Also, going or not going to the White House doesn’t make you Patrotic. It’s what you do when no one is watching that shows your support of your country. Come on?

  6. completelyconquered says:
    0
    0

    I applaud his decision. Just like I applauded Tim Thomas’s decision not to visit the White House.

  7. Jess says:
    0
    0

    Yeah, racing cars, you could never do that again. His attitude throughout all the press has really put me off rooting for him ever.

  8. AnotherSwimmingFan says:
    0
    0

    I really think that people don’t like Tyler Clary because he’s flat-out honest when he is interviewed. He says what he thinks and feels. If after working his tail off for four years he wants to have fun instead of making a trek out to the White House to meet the president, then who should stop him?

    • AnotherSwimmingFan says:
      0
      0

      It is my personal beliefs that Americans want their athletes to be robots who do not exhibit emotions or opinions, especially if they don’t win gold.

    • Mirielle says:
      0
      0

      It’s not honesty that is a problem at all, it’s an attitude that comes across poorly and with entitlement. He may have worked harder than everyone in the entire world at being a swimmer, that’s great. But people don’t have to like him and that’s okay too.

    • 0
      0

      agreed…it’s that simple.

    • jman says:
      0
      0

      I think you are right on. His interview right before the Trials on this site was one of the most honest, non-politically correct interviews I’ve ever seen. He actually shared times he wanted to go instead of keeping to himself. So he actually put it out there for all to see if he made it or failed. Guys got guts in my book and was right on in his statement about Phelps. Just bad timing. He learned his lesson about timing but i hope he stays candid. Its refreshing.

  9. Priyant Pratap says:
    0
    0

    Firstly, it was put best previously when it was said this is more about his attitude and comments than his choices. Don’t wanna go? Fine. But his atttitude is groanworthy. And if he is a Republican in their current Romney climate, I’m probably gonna be the douche that says I’ll hate dislike for that too.

    • Jg says:
      0
      0

      There has been a distinct move to Republican in state governments in the USA just as there has been to the ‘conservative’ party in Australia. Several Southern states have turned R for the first time ever .

      Australia is trying for a surplus budget -which they won’t get -but at east it is a try. The Australian Federal Govt debt is $200 billion multplied by the US population equals about 3.5 trillion.

      In contrast the US is running a trillion plus deficit every year & now stands at $16 trillion .Obama has added more debt that every admin 1778-2000 combined. If you don’t see the tragedy -you are blinded by ideology.

      I can see myself voting for Labor (Aust ) if the budget comes in close because they would rove their economic management skills.

      As Clint Eastwood told the chair – if the guy s not working out -you have to let him go. Works with any & everything Pryant.

      It is not politics -it is survival.

      • Jg says:
        0
        0

        I suggest you look at the forecast deficit & interest payments for all nations for 2016. Every nation endured the GFC & went in to deficit but as a % of GDP most are projected to be down.

        Unfortunately at this rate the US will be climbing a mountain steeper every yeartill 2060 they will be paying 80% of GDP in interest.

        Not possible Pryant.

      • Priyant Pratap says:
        0
        0

        I feel like this is a discussion for a different site, not a swimming one so I won’t comment or go into it. Especially since it moves far, far from the point.

        • Jg says:
          0
          0

          No Pryant . You as an Australian resident (unknown if you have US co-citizenship ) are the one that went vitriolic & outside of the topic.

          I have just outlined the economics .

  10. Priyant Pratap says:
    0
    0

    Also Mel, I love you but if there was something normal about a guy skipping a White House oppertunity to go test drive a race car – then this article wouldn’t exist.

  11. 0
    0

    Is it not pretty clear to everyone that TMZ is not a very reliable source for unbiased information? I’d bet money that Tyler didn’t just say “I’d rather race cars.” I think it’s foolish to think that a 4-word statement published by TMZ is indicative of the guy’s general attitude.

    Also, a little Google research indicates that Clary wants to be a professional race car driver after he’s done swimming. It’s not like someone said “hey, forget Obama, come drive cars real fast” and he accepted. This is a future goal of his.

    To boot, the President always invites Olympians to the White House. He’s not going out of his way or something.

  12. barbotus says:
    0
    0

    Being invited to the White House in recognition of what you accomplished as a member of Team USA is an honor. Unless an unavoidable conflict exists, you go. It doesn’t matter that your political views differ from the current holder of the office. You respect the office, regardless of the present occupant. Flippantly saying “I’d rather race cars” doesn’t cut it.

  13. COACH says:
    0
    0

    I’ll be honest, I’ve been around the guy a lot…he’s cocky, arrogant, not real loveable and yes sort of a douchebag. AND I’m sorry, but he is certainly NOT the hardest working guy in the sport. Wasn’t even the hardest working guy at FAST……. but I sort of like the guy and I have no problem if he doesn’t want to go to the White House. He wont be the only one missing (out of 49 swimmers I randomly guess 8 will be missing), and to take 2 days travel for a brief ceremony (however long I don’t know) is sort of a waste.

  14. Jg says:
    0
    0

    I have just come back fro m reading the Libyan attacks killing The USA Ambassador & marines.

    IMO ALL White House trivialities should be cancelled.

    You have people attacking embassies & hoisting Al quaeda flags & now killing & dragging the body of the Ambassador through the streets .

    OMG. America -wake up. You are at war.

  15. cynthia curran says:
    0
    0

    Not everyone but Riverside County you are more likely to be Republican. However, Chad Carvin got a message by Clinton in the 1990’s and he was a Republican. I personality like Tyler Clary since not many Olympians have come from Riverside County and he tends to do his own thing.

  16. cynthia curran says:
    0
    0

    NASCAR isn’t why Riverside County has been more Republican its next to Orange County which until now was more Republican than Riverside. A lot of people couldn’t afford the housing in La and Orange County and moved out to Riverside I think Clary grandmother lives in La County. In fact the housing is cheaper so your more Repulbican types in La and Orange moved out to Riverside County.

  17. bobo gigi says:
    0
    0

    Always the big class from Tyler Clary! After his nice comments about Michael Phelps, now he skips the white house visit! He’s a pathetic guy.

  18. cupofjoe says:
    0
    0

    Some very interesting comments. If Tyler Clary doesn’t want to visit the White House that’s his option. If it is a political statement that’s his option. This is a free country. And don’t you think Obama (and every other president) is inviting Olympians to the White House to gain a political advantage? If Clary, or any other athlete doesn’t want to help Obama gain a political advantage that’s his option. This is America. Go Tyler.

    • Bossanova says:
      0
      0

      Actually no I don’t think it’s a political statement on the part of the Prez. I’m as republican as they come, but meeting the president is an HONOR regardless of political affiliation. Thats why every president invites Olympians to the white house.

    • Dasher says:
      0
      0

      Presidents always meet with the Olympians after the Olympics. It’s an honor because they represented the US, and the President by inviting them is bestowing on them a great honor in the name of all US citizens. This is not about politics.

      • Braden Keith says:
        0
        0

        This is the challenge about the role of President in the United States. Everybody gets to love the queen in England without having to pay the same deferrence to the PM…but as I’m sure everyone recalls from PoliSci 101, in the US the President has to play both Head of State and “figurehead.” In my mind, I try to separate the two roles, but each is entitled to his her own own opinion on that matter.

  19. cynthia curran says:
    0
    0

    Well, go Tyler. I dislike Obama myself as well but I not a gun-ho Republican.

  20. Bossanova says:
    0
    0

    I applaud this decision by Clary. I’m now a fan of his. All I can say is please do your research before you vote this November. If you do I trust you will make the right decision. Under the Obama administration the national debt is now 16 trillion dollars. It’s staggering. Thank you and best wishes.

    • don says:
      0
      0

      You guys don’t get it. It has nothing to do with politics and political affiliation,it’s about self indulgence.JC could be there and it wouldn’t make a difference because narcissism has only one allegiance.

      • swimfan50 says:
        0
        0

        Your wrong…time to take a stand. Cancelling all White house functions should be in order until the debt is paid down and our ambassadors can be protected.

  21. swimfan50 says:
    0
    0

    Again, I’m not a Tyler Clary fan at all (mainly because of the Phelps comments / timing of them) but here is the list of swimming Olympians going to the White House…..there are really big names missing from the list.

    Swimmer Tyler Clary was the only athlete to have his refusal to attend go public, with a report on TMZ stating that he already has plans to drive race cars and attend the IndyCar Series race in Fontana, Calif., on Saturday.

    Swimmers attending the White House event:
    Alyssa Anderson, Elizabeth Beisel, Clark Burckle, Claire Donahue, Conor Dwyer, Jimmy Feigen, Andrew Gemmell, Jessica Hardy, Kathleen Hersey, Conor Jaeger, Kara Lynn Joyce, Ariana Kukors, Breeja Larson, Tyler McGill, Matt McLean, Alex Meyer, Lia Neal, Lauren Perdue, Allison Schmitt, Davis Tarwater, Peter Vanderkaay, Shannon Vreeland, Amanda Weir, Scott Weltz

    • anonymous says:
      0
      0

      I think that list was posted in swimmingworld, i believe. I’m not sure how they got that info because I know for sure Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin are there (according to their twitters). Anthony Ervin said he really wanted to go but had already committed to a friend’s wedding happening the same day. Nathan Adrian also said he wasn’t able to go. But I have to admit a few of the bigger names (not just the big two) are surprisingly not there. Regardless of political affiliation, coming together with all other olympians and meeting the president should be a huge honor. I’m guessing they probably had prior commitments.

    • kate says:
      0
      0

      Phelps tweeted he is going.

  22. 0
    0

    I think the reasoning behind his decision to not attend an assembly line hello from the president (nothing for the Olympians compared to the attention a campaign donor receives) is less politically driven than most of you speculate. There is such a finite window for athletes to capitalize on their Olympic success, particularly for a lesser known star of the sport trying to build their brand. If the phone is ringing, you better answer it if you want to fund four more years of training. Tyler won’t get any publicity from the honor of meeting the president, and it is an honor regardless of whether you lean left or right. He’s getting quite a lot of publicity (even now as we comment) by doing this meaningless TMZ crap. That’s the society we live in, like it or not. In the end, I respectfully concede that Tyler is clumsy in his handling.

    • Kirk Nelson says:
      0
      0

      I have a feeling Gary is right on the money–and has a little more personal experience in the matter than the rest of us.

    • Priyant Pratap says:
      0
      0

      I agree completely. And just to re-iterate – my issue wasn’t that he isn’t going, it was his comments about it and the way he went about it. Heck, the fact that he brought attention to it in the first place.

  23. bobo gigi says:
    0
    0

    Ok, I didn’t know this website I like was now a political forum. I thought it was just a swimming website.

  24. CoachGB says:
    0
    0

    Bobo Gigi is absolutely correct.

  25. coacherik says:
    0
    0

    Missy Franklin didn’t go and neither did Katie Ledecky. Missy didn’t go because of school and Ledecky was at USAS accepting her performance of the year award. They are CLEARLY unpatriotic and don’t get it just like Clary….

    • bobo gigi says:
      0
      0

      For Missy it’s weird because on her twitter we learn she was in Washington one day before the visit. You are wrong about Katie Ledecky because she was at the White House on Friday. And if I have well understood she was also at the USA swimming convention on Saturday for an award. She is everywhere.

  26. Kevin says:
    0
    0

    I think it’s a great move. I wouldn’t care to meet Obama either. If anyone is unpatriotic it is Obama and Clary must feel the same way. Snub my ass, maybe if our president wasn’t such an arrogant narcissist, Clary would go. Well done Tyler

  27. TXEX says:
    0
    0

    Could you guys post a list of Olympic swimmers that did or didn’t go to this White House ceremony? This makes it sound like Clary is the only one who “blew off” the invitation and unfairly paints him as a bad guy. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one who didn’t attend.

  28. Something to consider... says:
    0
    0

    First off, Clary is NOT involved with politics at all. He has nothing against Obama, and this is SWIMSWAM, not Fox.

    Lochte was not at the white house visit. Where was he? Fashion week in NYC. He wants to be a clothing designer when he’s done swimming. Why isn’t anyone giving him the hard time about attending something to help get himself out there in the fashion world like Clary was doing in the racing world? And Fashion week happens every year….

    This article opened up so many doors for Clary in the racing world!! If you read the original TMZ article, it wasn’t negative. Racing sponsors, team owners, and teams saw this across the country and it is now as though he is being recruited for racing teams. He understands that once swimming is over he has to start the “real world”, he doesn’t want a typical 9-5 job, he wants his next job to be in racing. Why not then get his foot in the door where and when he can now when training isn’t as rigorous as usual and he can take time to prepare for his future goals?? Clary’s family has been attending races his whole life, and in Clary’s down time he was often in a shop working on a off road desert racing truck. He’s not just “driving cars fast”, He’s pursuing a dream of finally getting behind the wheel.

    Also, he had been planning this racing weekend for awhile. It takes a lot, not just from Clary, but from the racing team to set up for this sort of thing. You need to rent the track way ahead of time, pay for it, get the car completely fixed up, and get a team out there for help. If you look into the racing world at all, you’ll see not only how expensive that is, but also how difficult it is for drivers to get noticed and even get the chances that Clary is receiving. Clary is taking what he can get, and that weekend was huge. The connections he made will benefit him greatly in making his dreams come true in the future. Clary could have missed his biggest shot by missing this race weekend. Again, he’s planning ahead.

    He was notified about the white house visit very last minute. Literally, that week. It required him 2 whole days of traveling. He is planning on going to Rio as well. You’re right, that is not guaranteed, but if he does go again, he will get another invite to the white house. Nothing against Obama or the government at all. And people say its selfish he didn’t go to “meet” the president..the athletes were merely used as props in the background for the president to make a speech. Lots of my friends went to the white house, very few got even a picture with him. He shook their hands, but is he going to remember each individual? Doubt it. Is Clary now on his way to accomplishing his next dream? Probably.

    It wasn’t NASCAR btw. And that doesn’t give you the right to say “oh we’ll then he must be a republican” You clearly don’t know Clary and are just making assumptions, and you know what they say about people who assume things….:X

    Stop the hate on a kid you don’t even know. He has 11 medals from world championships, one of them a gold medal, which he got at the 2012 Olympics. He has the fastest 200 m backstroke time in history not wearing a paneled suit.

    I hope these facts help all the negative people on here lighten up a little and realize this is something that I’m pretty sure Obama would have even done if he were in Tyler’s shoes.

Leave a Reply

Name will be published. Email address will not. By commenting you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly.As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

Read More »