You may be wondering what Jason Lezak has been up to in retirement with the world swimming championships ongoing this week.
Well, he’s faced with a life first at age 37: settling down and finding a real job.
“I still haven’t gotten a formal job,” Lezak told the Orange County Register (paywall). “And don’t know if I ever will.”
Lezak retired in January after winning his eighth Olympic medal in London last summer, a silver as part of the U.S. 4×100 freestyle relay team in the heats. Of course, Lezak’s most famous Olympic moment also came on that relay, in 2008, when he chased down France’s Alain Bernard on the anchor leg for gold.
The four-time Olympian, like most swimmers in retirement, took to the public speaking and swim clinic circuits.
“It is weird,” Lezak told the newspaper. “I excelled at something and now I have to start over from the beginning.”
Lezak still spends time at the pool near his Irvine, Calif., home. He swims “for 20 minutes at a time every couple of weeks,” according to the newspaper. His sons — 3 years old and 20 months old — are taking swimming lessons at the same place Lezak did when he grew up.
Lezak’s name came up on the first night of the world swimming championships Sunday, when Megan Romano overcame a 72 one-hundredths-of-a-second deficit to Australia on the anchor leg of the women’s 4×100 free relay. Romano’s split (52.60) was spectacular but not the fastest of the night.
Still, it had many making comparisons to Lezak, who delivered the fastest relay split in history in 2008 (46.06). Lezak, however, only had to overcome a .59-second lead by the French. So, in that sense, Romano’s was more impressive.