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Athletes

Oussama
Mellouli
TunisiaTunisia, TUN
Male
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
16 February 1984
Height
192 cm
Weight
84 kg
Residence
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Arabic, English, French, Italian
Higher education
Computer Engineering, Computer Science - University of Southern California: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He used to go swimming at a local pool in La Marsa, Tunisia.
Why this sport?
He started swimming because of his mother. "We were a modest family with no tradition of sport whatsoever. My parents to this day can't swim. But my mother wanted us to know how to. She saw a kid drown one summer and wanted her kids to be able to swim."
Club / Team
Mission Viejo Nadadores: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Name of coach
Bill Rose [club]

General Interest

Nicknames
Ous, The Tunisian Torpedo. (sports-reference.com, 2012; arenainternational.com, 30 Nov 2010)
Hero / Idol
US boxer Muhammad Ali. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 02 Aug 2015)
Injuries
He withdrew from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary with a training injury. The nature of the injury was undisclosed. (Twitter profile, 12 Jul 2017; swimswam.com, 12 Jul 2017)

He was troubled by a nagging shoulder injury in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (theglobeandmail.com, 17 Jul 2012; nbcolympics.com, 06 Jul 2012)

He had to deal with a double slipped disc ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (FINA Aquatics World Magazine, 01 Mar 2010)
Awards and honours
He was named the International Swimming Federation [FINA] 2012 Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year. (FINA, 04 Jan 2013)

He was named Tunisian Sportsperson of the Year in 2003 and 2004. (fanoos.com, 30 Nov 2010)
Other information
FURTHER STUDIES
He has also studied a master's degree in business administration at Essex Business School in Colchester, England. (LinkedIn profile, 2017)

QATAR ACADEMY
In 2014 he set up the Oussama Mellouli Swimming Academy for young swimmers in Qatar. "I know I can play an important role in the development of swimming in the region. [The academy] is not only performance driven, but also water safety driven. If we can provide an environment where parents can give their kids the gift of swimming and learning water safety, I think I would have accomplished a goal of mine that goes beyond the medals and glory of sports." (fina.org, 27 Aug 2014; swimvortex.com, 28 Mar 2014; aspetar.com, 15 Nov 2015)

HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS
By winning gold in the men's 10km open water event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he became the first swimmer to claim an Olympic medal in pool swimming and open water swimming. He had previously won the 1500m freestyle event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. His gold medal in Beijing also saw him become the first male swimmer from Africa to win an individual swimming gold medal at the Olympic Games. (theglobeandmail.com, 17 Jul 2012; foxnews.com, 10 Aug 2012; bcn2013.com, 04 Jun 2013)

SUSPENSION
In November 2006 while competing in the United States of America he provided samples that tested positive for a banned stimulant, which he admitted came from a pill he took two days earlier to prevent him from falling asleep while writing a university report. The disciplinary commission of the Tunisian Swimming Federation [FTN] concluded that he had not taken the drug to enhance his swimming performance and sanctioned him with a reprimand and warning. In March 2007, the International Swimming Federation [FINA] appealed the FTN's decision, requesting that a two-year ban be placed on the swimmer. The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] concluded that the case was one of negligence and he received an 18-month suspension rather than the usual 24 months, and was stripped of his competition results from the date of the incident. (grg51.typepad.com, 16 Aug 2008; tas-cas.org, 30 Nov 2010)