Olympic gold medalist returns to Jax

Published On: Aug 30 2012 04:21:43 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 15 2012 11:35:07 AM EDT

Charlie Houchin brings gold to Jacksonville.


A U.S. Olympic swimmer who trained at The Bolles School in Jacksonville is back from London and eager to show off his gold medal.

Charlie Houchin won the medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay.

"It was awesome," Houchin said. "It was a wonderful experience to be able to race at that stage in our sport. It was something I'll never forget."

Houchin swam the first leg of the men's 4x200 in the preliminary at the Olympics. He said swimming alongside the best in the world was nerve-racking but inspiring.

"Just the ability to race," Houchin said. "I walked out and saw the competition and was thinking, 'If anything keeps an athlete going in the sport, it's chances like that.'"

After the win, Houchin turned tourist. He saw London with his family, caught the U.S. women's soccer team's gold medal win over Japan, and had plenty of downtime to hang out with teammates, like Michael Phelps.

Houchin roomed with Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, and he has the pictures to prove it.

For now, Houchin is still living in Jacksonville. He said he's going to take some time off and hopes to keep training to compete in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


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