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Carolina Panthers recognize NC State gold medalist Ryan Held in pre-game ceremony


Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I think it’s safe to say that Ryan Held has been living the dream for the last few months. First he unexpectedly qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, then he won gold in Rio as a part of the 4x100 freestyle relay team that included Michael Phelps. On Sunday, he was recognized by the Carolina Panthers, handling the honorary pre-game smacking of the enormous drum.

And he probably thought winning an NCAA relay title was going to be the highlight of his year.

NC State’s coaching staff was on hand for the ceremony. I can write over and over about what an amazing job that they’ve done, but Held being here in this moment pretty much sums everything up. They’ve not only restored NC State swimming as a national power, they’ve also established State as one of the top places to go for anybody who wants to develop into an elite sprinter.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a couple more years of Ryan Held. Can’t wait to see what’s next.