London 2012 Golden Bears Olympians: Mathias Gydesen, 100 Backstroke, Denmark

California Golden Bears swimmer Mathias Gydesen holds the 2012 NCAA Division I swimming championship trophy. That was a good memory.

An important part of both of Cal's back-to-back men's swimming NCAA team championships these past two years, Mathias Gydesen will represent his native Denmark in 100 meter backstroke in London this summer. The Haas school of business student (expect to graduate in 2013) will be a first time Olympian as a part of the smallish 10-person Denmark swimming roster.

Those of you who followed the three day NCAA championships here with back in March may remember Mathias for the following. In the 2012 NCAA championship, Gydesen finished 5th in 200 back final, 2nd as a member of the 200 IM relay, 7th in 100 Fly, 9th in 100 Back, and 1st as a member of the 400 IM relay. Those were some big and important points that allowed the Bears to repeat as NCAA champs.

You can relive the 400 IM relay following the jump (Gydesen swam the backstroke for the first leg):


Haas has a brief story about Mathias and Lauren Boyle.

"I'm proud of studying at the Haas School of Business and love the environment up there," Gydesen told Cal Athletics. "I consider being surrounded by inspiring people─in the pool and classroom─to be a daily highlight."

But you can learn about Mathias from his Cal Athletics Q&A prior to defending the NCAA title this year, which includes the following answers.

Q: Has swimming at Cal helped prepare you for the 2012 London Olympics?

A: Yes, Cal helping me prepare for the London Olympics is definitely an understatement. We (Cal swimming and diving) have so much experience, so many great athletes and such amazing coaches and staff that I feel I'm in the best hands going into this year's Olympics. It can be tough at times to focus on both yards (what is swam in NCAA competition) and long course meters (what is swam at the Olympics and other international competitions), but the coaches do a good job of preparing us for both.

Q: What do you plan to do after your swimming career is over?

A: My swimming career will most likely end after this summer and I have plans to try to attain an entry-level position in management consulting in the United States. This aspiration is one that many others will seek and the competition will be tough. So, should I miss this opportunity, I will most likely go back to my home country and get my graduate degree from the Copenhagen Business School. But, I would love to get experience and add value to an American firm before I go back to Denmark.

Q: Apart from swimming, what has been a highlight of your Cal experience?

A: I'm proud of studying at the Haas School of Business and love the environment up there. Aside from that I consider being surrounded by inspiring people - in the pool and classroom - to be a daily highlight. It's like Cal never stands still and you always find ways to improve individually and as a community.

If London 2012 is indeed the end of Mathias' swimming career, I hope he has a strong finish.

Go Mathias and GO BEARS!

To close, here is another great photo of Mathias celebrating in the NCAA championship.

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Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

via cdn0.sbnation.com


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