WoW Celebs: An Interview with Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Grevers

Updated Wed, Mar 18, 2009 by Cody Bye

With 11.5 million players, it comes as no surprise that World of Warcraft has a player base that includes a variety of celebrities: professional athletes, best-selling authors, and Oscar-winning visual effects artists. But how many games, even including single player titles, can include Olympic gold medalists in their player list?

After our last WoW Celebs article, Ten Ton Hammer was contacted by Olympic swimmer Matt Grevers who wanted to chat about his own experiences in WoW. Although he was a bit difficult to track down between his practices and photo shoots for Tyr Sports (the swimwear company he co-represents), we eventually caught up with the lean swimmer. Matt's unbridled enthusiasm for both swimming and  online gaming is readily apparent, and we hope you can take a moment to read about his online life story.

As always, please feel free to email me if you are a celebrity, run in a guild with a celebrity, or simply have a unique life story to tell. Don't be shy!

Ten Ton Hammer: I hear you're a big World of Warcraft guy. That's pretty cool.

Matt Grevers: Yeah, I guess so. I think it's pretty fun.

Ten Ton Hammer: For those readers that may not be familiar with your accomplishments, could you give us a brief rundown of your career?

Matt: I was a sophomore in college when I won my first NCAA title in the 100m backstroke beating Ryan Lochte who's pretty much second in the world to Michael Phelps. Then I won again my junior year and my senior year I won the 200m backstroke.

After college, I moved to Arizona and made the Olympic team. I earned a silver in the 100m backstroke and qualified for the 400m freestyle relay and the 400m  medley relay. I swam in the preliminaries for both races, and so I got a gold in both.

Ten Ton Hammer: Did you get to see much of China while you were there? Did you stop in any of the infamous gaming cafes? Maybe put in some hours on the Chinese WoW client?

Matt: I actually did get in some WoW while I was there. When I made the team, I actually decided that I'd earned a laptop. I'll tell you what it is, even though most gamers will yell at me.... I got a Mac. Shame on me, I know.

Ten Ton Hammer: Hey man, my laptop's a Mac too. They're practically indestructible.

Matt: I know! On top of that, it runs the game just fine.

So I make the team and we go straight from the meet to Palo Alto for a training camp there. That whole camp lasts about a month, and luckily I brought the discs with me because I knew if I made the team that I'd buy a computer. So I loaded WoW on for that month in Palo Alto, and I pretty much played WoW every day that month.

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