Q&A with Conor Dwyer
What is your earliest memory of seeing swimming and what was it about swimming that propelled you to dedicate your life to it?
Swimming at my grandmother's pool with all the cousins and having relay races. I started swimming around 2 years old. My other grandmother would take about 20 of her grandchildren to the pool every Sunday and she called us her swim team. My family was always around water and having fun. I started swimming on a real team when I was 7 years old. I always played other sports and swam even through high school. I decided to dedicate myself to only swimming later in high school and never looked back.
Which swimmer has been your greatest influence and why?
Janet Evans. I met Janet through my dad. She was a motivational speaker for the company he worked for. Janet helped me find the University of Florida and Gregg Troy to train with after my sophomore year in college. This truly gave me the opportunity to swim with the best and become an Olympic contender. She has always been there for me and her amazing swimming career speaks for itself.
What athlete, in any sport, has been your greatest source of inspiration?
Michael Jordan - growing up in Chicago he was our childhood hero.
Tell us a bit about your family.
My parents are Patrick and Jeanne Dwyer and currently live in Winnetka, Ill. I have three brothers and a sister. I am a twin which is really cool! My twin brother is Spencer and is 26 years old, then comes PJ who is 25, Brenden is 24 and Pati is 21. I am from a big Irish family: I have 35 first cousins and 15 aunts and uncles.
Is anyone in your family or any of your friends hoping to attend the Games to support you?
YES! At the London Olympics in 2012, over 40 family members came to support me and even more plan to attend Rio.
What is your music of choice while training? Do you have a favorite go-to song that motivates you?
My choice of music is always changing. Right now, I enjoy listening to country during dry land training. A motivating song for me is "Reload" by Sebastian Ingrosso.
What is the last concert you attended?
Taylor Swift in Los Angeles
Please describe any tattoos you have.
I have the Olympic rings tattoo. My grandfather forbade all his grandchildren from ever getting a tattoo. He made one exception to the rule and that was when I made the Olympic team. He told all the other grandchildren they could get a tattoo if they make an Olympic team!
Do you have pets and if so, what are their names and breeds? What do they mean to you and your life?
We have a family dog named Biggie. He is a 105-lb bull mastiff. Whenever I am home he naps with me, sleeps with me, and goes to the beach. He is a highlight of being home!
What's your nickname, and how did you get it?
Diddy. Ryan Lochte gave me this nickname at University of Florida and all my U.S. teammates call me Diddy.
Tell us about some of your hobbies.
Golf: I play as much as I can with all my training, about 15-20 times per year. I like to play with friends and for business.
Hiking: I hike in Colorado Springs when I am training at the Olympic Training Center many times a year. I also hike in Los Angeles with friends, or sometimes alone, at least once a month.
Surfing: I try and surf on my day off from training, usually Sundays. I surf with friends in Manhattan Beach and surrounding beaches.
Car Enthusiast: Really enjoy nice cars. I have been lucky enough to have won the Pro Series the last two years and this enables me to drive an awesome BMW. My grandfather has a 1965 Mustang convertible that started my car passion.
Hockey: We have a big family Christmas hockey game every year and this encourages me try and keep my skating decent. My dad always built an ice rink in our backyard every winter for me and my brothers.
Paddle Boarding: I paddle board, water ski and wakeboard whenever I am in Florida. The best is paddling with the dolphins. I also paddle whenever I am in Chicago in Lake Michigan. I paddle in Cali too!
Q&As with swimmers of Team USA
Get to know the swimmers of Team USA:
Elizabeth Beisel | Haley Anderson | Missy Franklin | Simone Manuel | Maya DiRado | Connor Jaeger | Conor Dwyer | Kevin Cordes | Katie Meili | Katie Ledecky | Ryan Lochte | Nathan Adrian | Cammile Adams | Jay Litherland | Gunnar Bentz |