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TunisiaTunisia, TUN
Open water


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
16 February 1984
192 cm
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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 began swimming at age five, and would go to a pool in La Marsa, Tunisia.
Why this sport?
His mother encouraged him to try the sport. "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 do it. She saw a child drown one summer and wanted her kids to be able to swim."
Club / Team
Trojan Swim Club: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Name of coach
Samir Bouchlaghem [national], TUN
Training Regime
He trains for up to six hours a day. In addition to training in the pool, he does one hour of strength work, yoga, cycling and stretching.

General Interest

Ous, The Tunisian Torpedo, The Shark of Mediterranean (, 11 Mar 2018;, 30 Nov 2010)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in swimming [1500m freestyle] at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and claiming gold in open water swimming [10km] at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (, 18 Jul 2018)
Hero / Idol
US boxer Muhammad Ali. (, 02 Aug 2015)
He sustained a left shoulder injury during the 2017/18 season. (, 11 Mar 2018)

He withdrew from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, due to an injury he suffered in training. (Twitter profile, 12 Jul 2017;, 12 Jul 2017)

A shoulder injury disrupted his training ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. (, 17 Jul 2012;, 06 Jul 2012)

His training was disrupted ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games because of a double slipped disc in his back. (FINA Aquatics World Magazine, 01 Mar 2010)
Awards and honours
In 2018 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, United States of America. (, 24 May 2018)

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. (, 30 Nov 2010)
Other sports
He competed in both swimming and open water swimming at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (SportsDeskOnline, 08 Nov 2018)
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (, 18 Jul 2018)
Other information
He was the first male swimmer from Africa to win an individual swimming gold medal at the Olympic Games, triumphing in the 1500m freestyle at the 2008 Games in Beijing. He then became the first athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in both swimming and open water swimming, claiming victory in the 10km open water swimming event four years later in London. He also competed in swimming at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, winning bronze in the 1500m freestyle to become the first swimmer to claim medals in both open water and pool swimming at the same edition of the Olympic Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 02 Jun 2018;, 04 Jun 2013;, 10 Aug 2012;, 17 Jul 2012)

In 2014 he set up the Oussama Mellouli Swimming Academy 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." (, 15 Nov 2015;, 27 Aug 2014;, 28 Mar 2014)

He has studied for a master's degree in higher education administration at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, United States of America, as well as a master's in business administration and finance at Essex Business School in Colchester, England. (LinkedIn profile, 2018)

In November 2006 he tested positive for a banned stimulant at a competition in the United States of America. 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 and requested a two-year ban. The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] concluded that the case was one of negligence and he received an 18-month suspension, retroactively beginning on 30 November 2006, and was stripped of his competition results from the date of the incident. (, 30 Nov 2010;, 16 Aug 2008)