Sport: Men's Swimming (Butterfly)
Birthday: July 11th, 1991 (age 25 when Rio games start)
Hometown: Panama City, FL but grew up in Huntington Beach, CA
Cal affiliation: California Golden Bears alum (Religious Studies)
Years at Cal: 2009-2013
Olympic appearances: 2016 will be Tom Shields' 1st Olympic games
Simply put, Tom Shields is one of the most decorated Cal swimmer in the long and successful Cal Aquatic history. He played pivotal roles in Cal men's swimming and diving winning back-to-back NCAA team Championships in 2011 and 2012.
He owns 6 individual NCAA championships: 2010 100 Fly, 2011 100 Back, 2012 100 Fly and 100 Back, 2013 100 Fly and 200 Fly. He also swam in 4 NCAA winning relays: 2010 400 Free and 400 Medley relays and 2011 400 Free and 400 Medley relays. An important note here is that these events listed are just his wins. Shields racked up points at the NCAA thanks to 2nd places (2011 100 Fly, 2012 200 Fly) and a part in every relays (200 Free and 800 Free relays as well as 200 Medley relays).
Tom also owns a bunch of Pac-10 records and Cal school records. He was 2011 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Meet amongst other honors. Shields once held the Cal school record in 200 Free, 100 Back (since broken by Ryan Murphy), 100 Fly, and 200 Fly as well as being a part of the record setting 400 Free and 800 Free relays.
Tom Shields is pretty much a lock as a future Cal Athletics Hall of Famer.
In his 2013 200 Fly win, his time of 1:39.65 ties a guy named Michael Phelps for the best in the short course.
Prior to Cal, Tom Shields first race in the 2008 Olympics trials in the 100 Fly. In 2012, Shields came close to make the Olympics team; he placed 4th in 100 Fly, 9th in 200 Fly, and 21st in 100 Free.
Despite Rio 2016 being his first Olympic games, Shields is also highly decorated from representing U.S.A. in world championships in the non-Olympic years. He won Gold with Team USA in the 2015 World Championships 4x100 medley relay in Kazan. He also has one Gold, four Silvers, and three Bronzes from the World Short Course Championships between 2012 Istanbul and 2014 Doha.
Shields owns the short course meters (not to be confused with the short course yard records from the NCAA's) American Record in 50 Fly, 100 Fly, and 200 Fly.
Tom Shields to Adorn Cornflakes Boxes As Part of "Team Kellogg" https://t.co/ZzGPMslUJ6— Mel Stewart (@goldmedalmel) April 28, 2016
More on Tom and his Rio games outlook:
In the recent U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials, Shields has qualified for 100 Fly, 200 Fly, and the 4x100 Medley relay (by qualifying in 100 Fly).
Tom Shields first punched his ticket to Rio with a 2nd place finish in the 200 Fly behind Michael Phelps.
In his stronger event, Shields finished 2nd in 100 Fly to Michael Phelps, who was swimming his last competitive race in U.S. soil.
In both the 100 Fly and the 200 Fly, Shields is a strong contender to medal. His chance to win the gold is a bit greater in the 100 Fly.
A Religious Study major at Cal, Tom Shields still trains in Berkeley.
We will conclude to this throw back interview between Tom Shields and former Cal Football kicker and friend of CGB, David Seawright from 2011.
Good luck to Tom in Rio and GO BEARS!