Champaign native Tyler McGill placed seventh Friday in the men's 100-meter butterfly against teammate Michael Phelps.
The swimmer finished with a time of 51.88 after placing third in Thursday's semi-final heat. It was McGill's first time competing in an Olympic event.
McGill told NBC Chicago a day earlier it was a relief to dive into the pool after watching most of his team start and even finish their Olympic races, and he was anxious to get to the day of his event
McGill's swim may have been overshadowed by Phelps' gold, but it didn't ruin his path to the finish.
Besides, he has some Chicago inspiration with him when he dives.
"I'm a huge fan of Derrick Rose, just the way he goes about his business and takes care of everything," McGill said after the race. "He's an inspiration to a lot of people, including Olympians of all kinds, so go Bulls!"
McGill began swimming at 11 years old and won his ticket to London during his second attempt at the Olympic trials. He competes Friday along with teammate Phelps.
While training for London, McGill said competing beside the legendary swimmer is parts intimidating, challenging and motivating.
"When I first started swimming next to Michael there’s definitely that, well, that intimidation factor and so it's hard to keep that attention on yourself, but as I’ve gotten more comfortable swimming next to Michael I’ve become more aware of the all-around energy that comes with swimming in a race next to him. ... It's something I look forward to every time."