Who Is Chase Kalisz? Winner of 1st U.S. Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics

Chase Kalisz kicked off a strong performance for Team USA when he picked up the first gold medal for the country at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kalisz, 27, led the charge when he secured the first U.S. gold of the games by winning the 400-meter individual medley race on Sunday with a time of 4:09:42.

Fellow American Jay Litherland took home the silver, coming in a close second at 4:10:28 with Australian Brendon Smith winning the bronze.

Team USA won medals in every final swimming race, six in total, cementing a strong Olympics start in the post-Michael Phelps era.

The win is a career highlight for Kalisz, who was a former training partner of Phelps and said it was the "last thing" he wanted to achieve in swimming.

Following his win, Kalisz, of Bel Air, Maryland, told NBC after his race: "It means the world. This is the last thing that I really wanted to accomplish in my swimming career.

"It was something that was a dream of mine since as long as I could remember."

Kalisz won the silver medal in the same event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, coming in behind Japan's Kosuke Hagino.

According to the Associated Press, Kalisz said his second-place finish in Rio spurred him on and added: "That one was the most special type of pain.

"I had vowed that I was going to make that hurt as much as possible and give my absolute best to accomplish this."

Kalisz, who stands at 6ft 4ins, has a strong history of picking up medals for the U.S. and has also broken the American record in the 400-yard individual medley.

In 2013, Kalisz took home the silver in the event at the World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and later won the same medley at that year's NCAA Championships in Indianapolis.

A year later, Kalisz defended the gold and broke the American record for the 400-yard individual medley at the NCAA Division1 Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

In 2015, he was placed third at the 2015 FINA World Championships where he came in behind Japan's Daiya Seta and Dávid Verrasztó of Hungary.

He would later go on to break his own American record during his senior year at the University of Georgia with a time of 3:33:41,

Kalisz later set a Championship Record in his specialist event at the FINA World Championships in 2017. The record had previously been held by Phelps.

According to SwimSwam, Kalisz started his swimming career at the age of nine and graduated from Fallston High School, Maryland, in 2012.

He also swims for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club under Bob Bowman.

Kalisz won the first U.S. gold
Kalisz won the first U.S. gold at this year's Olympic games. In this photo, Chase Kalisz of United States celebrates winning the Men's 400m IM on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan Ian MacNicol / Contributor/Getty