Chase Kalisz 'Thrilled' About Winning Team USA's First Gold Medal in Tokyo: 'Still Trying to Process It'

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Chase Kalisz
Chase Kalisz

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images Chase Kalisz

After winning Team USA's first gold medal at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Chase Kalisz is opening up about the impressive victory in the pool.

The athlete, who won gold in the men's 400m individual medley on Sunday morning, spoke with Today's Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie about his win on Monday, calling the moment "indescribable."

"Any time you have the chance to represent your country on the highest stage and wear the flag on your cap it really is the greatest honor. That was a lifelong dream of mine and it all came true," the swimmer, 27, said. "That was 22 years of dreaming in this sport and I couldn't be more thrilled with the result."

"I'm honestly still trying to process it," he continued. "It doesn't really feel like it was a real day yesterday."

Kalisz, who will be competing in Wednesday's 200-meter individual medley, added that he's "doing everything I can to kind of prepare my body to be successful" ahead of his next race.

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And while he his family wasn't able to be there in person to cheer him on, they did come up with a creative way to support him, hosting a watch party from home.

"I couldn't necessarily hear what they were saying, but I could see them going crazy, and it is a little weird not having them in the stands for the first time and really no fans for the first time, so I'm glad they had their own little experience there," Kalisz said.

Along with the support of his friends and family, Kalisz also had a longtime mentor cheering him on in fellow Olympian Michael Phelps, whom he began training with when he was just 13.

Chase Kalisz
Chase Kalisz

Photo by Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

"Michael is the greatest role model in this world for me," Kalisz said. "I got to bounce off ideas and questions and really just about anything off of him through the years and it was awesome getting to talk to him briefly after that, but I'm about 22 Olympic gold medals away from catching him."

Phelps, who retired in 2016 and recently said he has no plans to return to professional swimming, joined in on Kalisz's interview to congratulate the gold medalist, telling him, "I couldn't be prouder."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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