TWO-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST (2008: 1500 FREE, 2012: 10KM OPEN WATER)  •  2012 OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST (1500 FREE)  •  HOLDER OF 7 AFRICA CONTINENTAL RECORDS  •  2ND-FASTEST MAN IN HISTORY IN 800 METER FREESTYLE
Download PDF Photos Videos Media

Ous Mellouli

Bookmark and Share
Personal Quotes
If you believe it, you can achieve it.
Personal Info

Born On:  February 16, 1984
Hometown:  Tunis, Tunisia
Resides:  Los Angeles, California
Education:  University of Southern California (Computer Engineering, Sports Management)

Biography

Ous Mellouli entered 2012 with an Olympic gold medal from the 1500 free in 2008 already in his hands, and training in Los Angeles was on a roll in swimming’s longest pool event. In April, on a bit of a whim, he took to the oceans off of the coast of Cancun for his first major international 10km swim and finished 10th.

This is not a disappointing result in a World Cup event, but with just three months to go before the Olympics, it would have been a risk to pursue this event that is so vastly different from swimming in the pool.

Apparently, nobody told Ous that. First, in June, he won the open water last-chance qualifying race in Portugal. Then he went to the Summer Olympics in London, England and proclaimed himself as the best open water swimmer in the world by winning the Olympic gold medal.

Combine that with his 1500 gold from 2008, and a bronze in the same race in 2012, and Mellouli accomplished something that nobody in history has ever done: winning Olympic gold in both the pool and the open water, and winning Olympic medals in both at the same Games.

This is not the first time that Mellouli has taken a risk in swimming; at the 2011 Pan Arab Championships, representing his native Tunisia, he swam all but 3 events and won a stunning 15 gold medals in a single meet.

Mellouli is a sporting hero in his native Tunisia, and one of their most recognized celebrities. Even with an entire nation focused upon him at the Olympics, and scores of countrymen looking to him for uplifting news in challenging times, he wasn’t afraid to fail. So often it goes that those unafraid to fail are best equipped to succeed. Mellouli took tha leap into the open water when he could have just settled for a defense of his gold medal in the 1500. Nothing great was ever accomplished, though, without a leap of faith.

Ous’ Olympic accomplishments were a moment of history that will leave him remembered through the annals of swimming history. The ripples of his accomplishments will ring through pools and lakes around the world, but the lesson need not be limited only to Olympians. Every swimmer has the opportunity every day to take a risk, to go-for-broke, and to maybe do more than they thought they were capable of, because nobody has ever accomplished anything without taking a chance somewhere along the way.