Michael Houlie’s consistent performance over the last year has seen him become one of the favourites to score a gold medal for South Africa at the 2020 Olympics.
Currently based at the University of Tennessee on a swimming scholarship, Michael managed to break two records in one year, making him the 6th fastest swimmer for the year.
Recently, the 19 year old managed to take a silver medal at the 30th World University Games (Summer Universiade) in the Italian city of Napoli.
With 23 year old Russian Olympian, Kirill Prigoda, taking first place, Michael was the youngest swimmer in a field of highly experienced swimmers.
He also broke the events 50m breaststroke record, swimming a time of 26.82 seconds and he qualified for the Olympic Games’ 100m breaststroke.
He did not however break the record once, but twice, swimming a time of 26.98 seconds in a previous race
With 123 countries competing, the World University Games is the second biggest international multi-sport event, with the Olympics being the first.
He had entered the University Games with the fastest 50m breaststroke time of 26.91, ranking 8th in the world.
He achieved this time at the South African National Aquatic Championships where he won gold and ranked as the top South African.
Mike, as his family and friends like to call him, is currently representing South Africa in South Korea at the FINA, the biggest international swimming championships in the world.
Thereafter he is off to Morocco to take part in the African Championship Games from 16-25 August before he heads back to university in Knoxville Tennessee.