Mike O’Brien was a distance freestyler who won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics just after graduating from high school. O’Brien swam for the Mission Viejo Nadadores and later for Southern Cal. As a freshman at Southern Cal he won NCAA titles in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles, three US National titles (500, 1,000, 1,650-yard freestyles) and set two American Records in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle, with the 1,000 yard record lasting for 13 years. O’Brien had won a bronze medal in the 400 IM at the 1983 Pan American Games and in 1987 returned to the Pan Ams, winning golds in the 200 backstroke and the 4x200 free relay.
After graduating from USC in 1988, O’Brien worked initially in real estate and insurance and did some color commentary for televised swimming events. He also coached swimming in Newport Beach and at U Cal Irvine. In 1993 he finished the Ironman Triathlon with what is considered the fastest swim / slowest overall finish (13 hours, 41 minutes). In 1993 O’Brien and his wife Kristin opened and have since operated Mike O’Brien Swim Instruction in backyard pools all over Orange and LA Counties.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1984 Summer Olympics||Swimming (Aquatics)||USA||Mike O'Brien|
|1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic)||1||Gold|