Five Things to Know About Olympic Gold Medaling Swimmer Matt Grevers Before Rio

Matt Grevers spends his swimming off-time conquering World of Warcraft

The 2016 summer Olympics are coming, and Matt Grevers‘ pool time is about to increase significantly.

Before the dad-to-be gets in the lane, here’s what you need to know about his life sans-goggles.

1. He is an avid online gamer – and he’s good
Since the game’s inception in 2004, Grevers has played World of Warcraft, a multi-player game that pits players against orcs, dragons, ogres – and other players. Armed mostly with magic as the mage or heavy armor as a warrior, Grevers is intensely competitive in the game’s arena matches, which pit three players against three others. With friends, Grevers achieved a 2,000 rating, which puts him in the top 2 percent of the 15 million or so players from around the globe.

“I’m playing with all my old friends, like from Chicago, Northwestern, my high school buddies, and even Arizona guys who have graduated and have moved,” he tells PEOPLE. “So if we play later, there’ll be 20 of us on – all like my best friends, all of my groomsmen. Pretty much all of them play.”

2. He hasn’t mastered many other sports
Although he likes golf and tennis, and has a road bike, Grevers sticks mostly to swimming. Decades of pool life left his body so accustomed to the low-gravity environment that he is physically unsuited for land sports. Most swimmers are fragile, he says, and he doesn’t want to risk injury.

“Right now my physical exertions in the pool are about all I can handle, so I’m doing less adventurous stuff,” Grevers explains. “It sounds kind of boring but at this point, I also don’t want to hurt myself. If I play tennis or basketball, there’s a risk of injury, so although I like those things, it’s not worth the risk of injury to myself.”

3. He has a surprising amount of free time
Grevers, 31, like many professional athletes, has a lot of free time. Because his sport doesn’t require long stretches on the road or long hours in the gym, he frequently spends all but a few hours daily at home. That will come in handy when his wife, Annie, gives birth to their fist child in November.

“I think it’s so cool that I’d be able help nurture this child at such an early stage, kind of in a unique professional way,” he tells PEOPLE. “If I had a different professional career where I was gone from 9 to 5, I wouldn’t be able to contribute as much. Now, if I’m swimming, I probably wake up and swim some mornings 6-8, and then I’m home for most of the day, then I go away for another 2-1/2 hours and them I’m home. It’s actually a lot of time that I’m really excited to be able to spend with a kid.”

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4. Faith is a constant presence in his life
Although they don’t attend church, Grevers and Annie both have a strong spiritual thread running through their lives. They listen to sermons from a New York pastor they found online, and they have a Bible quote hand-written on a chalkboard in their kitchen: Thasselonians 1:4 -– “God not only loves you very much, but also has put his hand on you for something special.”

“I pray. I always pray and ask for guidance. Selfishly pray to maybe win a race,” Grevers explained. “I’ve always felt awkward with that, but you’re supposed to pray to God for all things, so that’s kind of my superstition. I just kind of ask for whatever needs to be done to be done during that race I was raised Catholic, and I was a religion minor at Northwestern, and then Annie’s religious. To kind of get into her life, I found my own religion.”

5. His first try at the Olympics was a disaster

In 2004, Grevers qualified for the finals in the 100 meter backstroke. As he was barreling down the lane, needing first or second to make the team, the sun glinted in his eye and sent him crashing into the lane marker.

“The first lap I was doing great, and the second lap coming back – that’s where the sun was angled toward my eyes, and after the sun hit my eyes I kind of stopped,” he recalls. “I hit the lane line, then I hit the other lane line. By the time I got out of the water, I was just dripping blood down both lats from kind of ping-ponging through the lanes, and I got seventh place. I’m pretty sure I would not have won first or second, but just the thought of not making the Olympic team for an error like that you could train as long as you want, or eat as healthy as you want, sleep as much as you can, you can do everything right, but if you can’t swim in a straight line outdoors, none of it matters.”

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