Tyler Clary

Swimmer Tyler Clary knows the formula for speed

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Before the London Olympics, U.S. swimmer Tyler Clary told us about his passion for off-road racing and said he was designing a custom buggy for that purpose.

Then he won Olympic gold in the 200m backstroke.

Clary’s life as an Olympic champion has certainly changed, and so have his out-of-the-pool interests: He’s scrapped his buggy plans and is about to start designing a Formula One style car.

We caught up with Clary on the red carpet at USA Swimming’s Golden Goggle Awards Monday night, the organization’s annual gala that celebrates every swimmer in the pool and recognizes the year’s great performances (more coverage here, here and here). Clary relocated from California back to his native Michigan to train after London.

“Since Michigan raceway is so close, I’m actually gonna use the same engine [as his off-road car], completely redesign everything and turn it into an open-wheel car,” Clary said. “I’m actually looking to get involved with the Michigan Formula SAE Team as either a driver or a helping hand.”

Clary said he’d like to be a different type of racer when his swimming career is over.

“Ideally, I want to be road racing on a track and preferably open-wheel,” he said. “If I had my choice I’d be in a Formula One car. I actually got the chance to complete the Skip Barber Racing School about a month ago. One of the corners on the track was taken at 100 miles an hour. That’s frickin’ crazy. It’s amazing what those type of cars can do.”

Apparently one thing is very clear: All Clary wants to do is travel as fast as humanly possible in any way possible.

Photos: Final Five meet the President, First Lady

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29:  U.S. first lady Michelle Obama(L) rests her elbow on the head of Olympian Simone Biles (2nd L) as President Barack Obama (R) speaks during an East Room event at the White House September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama and the first lady welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in the Rio Olympic Games this year.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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The U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team spent extra time at the White House on Thursday after President Barack Obama delivered a speech to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman did the splits with Obama, and even lifted vegetable dumbbells with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Gabby Douglas, who had her wisdom teeth removed earlier this week, did not attend the event.

MORE: Simone Biles discusses her future

Katherine Reutter ends early retirement

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 26:  Katherine Reutter of the United States celebrates the silver medal in the Ladies 1000m Short Track Speed Skating Final on day 15 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Pacific Coliseum on February 26, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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When Katherine Reutter retired in 2013 at the age of 24, she never thought she would return to the ice. Three hip surgeries and two major back injuries left the two-time Olympic short track speed skating medalist in constant pain.

But now Reutter is scheduled to compete this weekend at the U.S. Speedskating Short Track World Cup Qualifier at the Utah Olympic Oval.

“You wouldn’t expect somebody who has been as injured as I have to be back at their best,” Reutter said in a telephone interview from Utah. “I feel like I’m getting close.”

Reutter only started contemplating a comeback last November, after being inspired by attending a World Cup race as a member of the U.S. Speedskating Athlete Advisory Council.

She began a regimen of yoga twice a week and daily 30-minute walks when she returned to Milwaukee, where she was working as a coach for the Academy of Skating Excellence.

“I started off really, really slow,” she said. “I started to work out the amount that a normal person probably should.”

Pain free, Reutter began skating during the practices that she was coaching.

“I noticed the days I came home really happy were the days where I had skated,” she said.

Reutter only started to truly believe that she could return to skating competitively when she clocked times that she described as “pretty darn good” a training camp in Salt Lake City in May and June.

She has learned to listen to her body. After experiencing pain when she scheduled twice-daily workouts six days per week, she scaled back to four or five days per week.

“I don’t really have the option to overtrain like I used to,” she said.

Reutter’s goal this weekend is to earn a placement for the ISU World Cup, which begins Nov. 4-6 in Calgary. Eventually, she would like to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But Reutter would be happy just being, well, happy.

“I am trying to live life to its happiest every single day,” she said, “and speed skating allows me to do that.”

Reutter recently changed her Twitter bio to say “comeback queen.”

“So far I’m the only one who calls me that,” she said, laughing. “I suppose people could get on board eventually”

MORE: Five athletes to know before the 2018 Winter Olympics