Aaron Peirsol set swim world record in Beiijing Summer Olympic Games 2008
U.S. swimmer wins gold medal in backstroke has Huntington Beach connection.U.S. swimmer wins gold medal in backstroke has Huntington Beach connection. There’s one family with more than a passing interest in the swimming action this week at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Canadian natives and California residents Joe and Margaret (Burke) Morrison are the maternal grandparents of American multi-medallist swimmer Aaron Peirsol and the Morrisons are cheering on their 25-year-old grandson, who won gold in the men’s 100-metre backstroke, carving 0.35 seconds off his previous world record with a time of 52.54 seconds. Aaron won three gold medals in swimming events at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and a silver medal in the 100-metre backstroke as a 17-year-old at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
According to grandfather Joe, Aaron seems to live in the water, whether he’s swimming or surfing. His father was an excellent swimmer and Aaron was on his father’s back swimming out in the ocean. So he was in the water from the time he was born really. He was born to it.
Headed to Huntington Beach in 1952, the family relocated to southern California from Canada. Aaron lived with his grandparents until after he started school, when he moved with his family to a nearby community. He now calls Austin, Tx., home and is building a residence in Costa Rica where he plans to pursue his other passion — surfing — first ignited in Huntington Beach. Called ‘Surf City’, a lot of people come to Huntington Beach just for surfing. Aaron holds the world record in the 100-metre backstroke and shares the record in the 200-metre backstroke with fellow U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte.