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Brendan Hansen is a swimmer competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Four-time Olympic medalist Brendan Hansen emerged from retirement in early 2011 and punched his ticket to London by winning the 100m breaststroke at the Olympic Trials. The victory set up a rematch with his Japanese rival Kosuke Kitajima (see below), who has won both breaststroke races at the last two Olympics. Hansen was also favored to make the team in the 200m breaststroke, but he and Eric Shanteau were upset by Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle.

Once the top breaststroker in the U.S., Hansen retired from professional swimming after the Beijing Games. Two years later, he had a change of heart and decided to make another Olympic run. He was rewarded at the 2011 U.S. Championships in the form of gold medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke. Hansen said two things contributed to his decision to comeback: Losing 15 pounds and FINA's ban of high-tech swimsuits. "I don't think they really count," Hansen said of the world records set in bodysuits. "The fact that now I think we're back to where we were, my technique and all the things I've really done, I've benefited by not wearing the suit."

Brendan Hansen started off strong at the 2008 Olympic Trials, winning the 100m breaststroke to qualify for the team. But in the 200m breast, Hansen fell behind on the last lap and finished fourth, failing to qualify in that event. Hansen later said he wasn't sure what happened but that he had felt tired before the race. The two qualifiers, Scott Spann and Eric Shanteau, were Hansen's teammates at Longhorn Aquatics.

Hansen was on a flight from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas, shortly after the Beijing Olympics when something happened: He lost his gold medal from the 400m medley relay. The swimmer said the hardware was in a side pocket in his backpack but thinks it fell out when he moved up a few rows during a stopover in Nashville, Tenn. Hansen discovered the medal was missing when he got to Texas and put out an all-points bulletin. A day later, the medal was returned to him after a woman on his flight found it in the rear of the plane. "For about 18 hours, I was sweating bricks," Hansen told the Associated Press.

Hansen went to Athens with a target on his back, having just broken Kitajima's world records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the 2004 Olympic Trials. Kitajima returned the favor by winning both the 100m and 200m breaststroke, leaving Hansen with silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m. Hansen also won gold with the men's 4x100m medley relay.

Hansen has a full history with Kitajima. In the 100m breaststroke, Hansen notched wins over Kitajima at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships. In the 200m, Hansen won at the 2001 and 2005 Worlds. Hansen swept the races at the 2006 Pan-Pacific Championships but lost to Kitajima in the 100m breaststroke at the 2002 meet. Kitajima won two golds at the 2003 Worlds as well.

Hansen endured about as painful a meet as one could have at the 2000 Olympic Trials when he finished third in the 100m and 200m breaststroke. Only the top two in each event went to Sydney. Hansen missed by 0.65 seconds in the 100m and .15 seconds in the 200. After finishing third in the 200m breast, Hansen says that his coach Eddie Reese told him, "This could either benefit your career or be a disadvantage." Hansen says after that he was "a man on a mission," which he accomplished by winning both events at 2004 Trials in world-record time.

Hansen had a remarkable college career, becoming the first person ever to win four NCAA titles in both the 100m breast and 200m breast. He never lost a breaststroke race on the conference or national level and joined Pablo Morales (100m and 200m fly) and John Naber (100m and 200m back) as the only men in history to win four NCAA titles in two different events. Hansen graduated with 13 NCAA titles and was 16-time All-American.

Hansen says he picked the University of Texas strictly because of Reese. "What makes a person swim so well at Texas is the camaraderie," he says. Hansen and Reese often go bird hunting in Texas. Having teammates and fellow Olympians Aaron Peirsol, Ian Crocker and Neil Walker to train with at Texas also helps, Hansen says, creating a "comfort level" for the group in a "stress-packed situation."


How tall is Brendan Hansen? How old is Brendan Hansen? Where does Brendan Hansen live? Find out here.

Age: 35 years old
Birthday: August 15, 1981
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 187 lbs.
Nickname: Bren Bear
Full Name / Real Name: Brendan Joseph Hansen
Birthplace: Havertown, PA
Current Residence: Austin, TX

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