RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Henrico's Townley Haas is an Olympic Gold Medalist.
Before Townley Haas became an international star, he swam at the Nova Swimming Club in Richmond.
We met with some of Townley's former teammates and his friends who say Townley was quietly one of the hardest workers they've ever seen.
While they were putting in several practices a week, he was putting in several more, which is one of the big reasons why he went from this pool, to a college scholarship, to a gold medalist in Rio.
Friend and former teammate, Sam Cuthbert, said his reaction was simple: "I was speechless."
Abby Jones remembers making a bet with Townley, "Townley and I Iike to joke around a lot, we used to make bets a lot."
Townley bet her, at practice, she couldn't go a week without saying the word "like" and she -- like -- didn't make it. So he got to shave part of her eyebrow. Jones laughed and said, "it was pretty interesting, especially because I had prom like two weeks later, but it was partially there."
Jones, eyebrow intact, and the others watched as Haas' shaved big time off of his 200-meter swim. He posted the fastest split of the four swimmers, faster than Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.
"He got them out to a really great lead and he had the fastest split, like when the announcers said his split my jaw d ropped because that's a time that's unheard of and it's really awesome," said Charlie Swanson, who is heading to Michigan on a swimming scholarship this fall.
Will Riggs said the future is very bright for Townley.
"Definitely still has a ton of room to improve, I mean just last year, I think he was like 1:35 or 1:34 in the 200 free, to this year, now he's a world record holder in the 200 short course freestyle. It's kind of crazy," Riggs remarked.
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