LONDON (WBBM) – You’ve heard a lot about the winners at the Olympics but there are stories of defeat and disappointment too. Tyler McGill of Champaign knows about the latter. He finished 7th in final of the Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly on Friday, a showing that brought an abrupt end to his first Summer Games.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” McGill told WBBM Newsradio from London. “It’s a tough thing to swallow knowing that being on the medal stand was a great possibility. I don’t think there’s anything I could have done differently within the race to be faster but I’ve also swam faster and fast enough to earn a medal.”
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McGill, 24, qualified for the medal race with a third place showing in the semifinals. He swam against Michael Phelps who won the gold. McGill swam in 51.88 seconds, 0.67 seconds behind Phelps’ time of 51.21.
“You watch your fellow teammates do so well and you want to be a part of that experience. You want to add something to that experience and so, for me, not being able to fully add that to that thrill goes along with my personal disappointment.”
McGill said part of defeat is picking up the pieces and moving forward, which is why he’s already thinking about next year and the next Olympics.
“Four years is a long, long ways away. My initial goal is to swim for another four years and go to the Olympics in Rio but swimming in its current state is something that has to be taken year by year.”
McGill is also thinking about how the future might be impacted by the end of Phelps’ Olympic career.
“Obviously things change up and get shaken up a little bit with his not being present at certain events anymore but there are a lot of people pretty close behind him waiting for the same opportunities that I will be waiting for.”
McGill plans to spend the rest of his time in London seeing some of the sights.
“Just to explore the city and take in the entire Olympic culture and Olympic vibe. It’s just something that I am so proud to be here and be a part of and I’m looking forward to walking through the city and experiencing some more of that, just at a different angle.”