It was a dream come true for Florian Wellbrock when he delivered a masterclass in open water swimming at the Tokyo Olympics.
He won by 25 seconds two weeks before his 24th birthday and said: “This is my personal summer fairy-tale. It’s a little bit unreal.”
He became the first man to hold Olympic and world 10km open water titles at the same time following his historic 2019 World Championships where he was the first athlete to claim the 10km open water and pool double.
Florian was granted legend status in Magdeburg, where he lives and trains, with his own plaque on the city’s ‘Walk of Fame’.
At the World Short-Course Championships in December in Abu Dhabi, Florian won the 1500m freestyle in a world record of 14:08.06.
To cap a memorable year Florian married Olympic medallist Sarah Köhler just after Christmas in his hometown of Bremen.
Florian started swimming as a child at Tenever-Bad in Bremen. He moved to Magdeburg to be coached by Bernd Berkhahn and Norbert Warnatzsch.
Music plays a very important role as Florian told Olympics.com: “It’s boring in the first eight kilometres and then it’s like an action movie in the last two kilometres.
“Then you need the speed and the power. I think about German hip hop or rap songs.”