LONDON, U.K. -- Day one in London is in the books, and it was certainly an interesting day in the pool.
The duel between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte began. Lochte takes home the first gold for the United States in the 400 Meter Individual Medley.
Our SwimMAC Carolina Olympians begin their races on Sunday, but there’s already a different kind of Olympic competition taking place and it involves getting grungy.
There are plenty of good places to get a shave in London, but there’s one SwimMAC star you won’t find there. In fact, you won’t find Davis Tarwater anywhere near a razor.
He has the build of a swimmer, but the beard of a Bigfoot hunter. One he’s says he’s proud of.
"I've always really liked growing it out, you know, so that it looks really grizzly. But if there's a good mustache to be had or a fu man chu or anything, I'm really willing to sit down and have that discussion with people that might be advising me."
A lot of swimmers spend time shaving their bodies, but Tarwater is basking in his ability to grow facial hair. He says “it’s a privilege to have a beard.”
Dave Wagner first talked with him 4 weeks ago and his beard was just budding.
Now, in London, he’s sporting a fuller look, and is getting his priorities straight. “Trying to win an Olympic gold medal is my first priority,” Tarwater says, “trying to grow a mustache is my second.”
He’s even getting advice from fellow SwimMAC Olympian Cullen Jones.
Davis Says, “Cullen actually wants me to do the Iron Man, the guy from Iron Man where it’s the goatee.”
SwimMAC Nick Thoman is also going for the gold in Olympic facial hair.
Thoman says, “I let it go because, it's kind of my training plan. This is me being ugly and dirty and getting my nose into training."
In London, Thoman’s beard has really taken off, but by swim day every whisker on these swimmers will be gone. None of them want to lose by the hair on their chinny, chin-chin.
Thoman says, “When I shave it off and I shave everything off, I just feel that much better and I feel that much more streamlined and fantastic in the water."
Nick Thoman takes to the pool Sunday, for the 100 Meter Backstroke.
Meantime, Davis Tarwater is still letting those whiskers grow.