With no Olympian on the United States team this year from the Hannibal-Quincy area, you find yourself rooting on the athlete who lives the closest to us. This year that’s Ryan Held (pictured second from the left) of Sacred Heart Griffen in Springfield, Illinois. If you watched the Men’s 400 Free Relay event at the Rio Olympics last night you probably were rooting on the U.S. Team and Michael Phelps, who was one of the four swimmers on that squad.  Everyone knows about Phelps, a winner of now 23 Olympic medals of which 19 are gold medals, the most of all time.

What you may not have known last night is that Held swam the 3rd leg of that event following Phelps, an event that garnered another gold medal for all four swimmers including Caeleb Dressel, who swam the lead-off leg, and Nathan Adrian, who swam the anchor leg. The winner time was 3:09:92 with France finishing with a silver medal and Australia the bronze medal.

I imagine the buzz over Held’s performance with his teammates last night is the talk of the Capitol city today as it should be. Congratulation’s Ryan Held on your Olympic Gold Medal from all of us in the Hannibal-Quincy area as well.