Olympic Swimmer Ryan Murphy Credits New Wife Bridget for His Success: ‘She’s Super Optimistic’ (Exclusive)

The four-time Olympic gold medalist married his college sweetheart in September 2023

<p>Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images</p> Ryan and Bridget Murphy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ryan and Bridget Murphy

Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy took a moment to gush over his wife, Bridget Konttinen, ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

As he prepares for the Summer Games, Murphy, 28, tells PEOPLE that he's grateful for the support from his new wife, whom he married this past September. "She's been a huge part of my success over the past couple of years," says Murphy, who has been training for the competition in the Bay Area of California.

"I think she's someone who definitely gets me just motivated about life. She's super optimistic, and I think that's just been really helpful for me in terms of my approach to the sport," the Olympian says of his college sweetheart.

The couple married at the Everline Resort & Spa in Olympic Valley near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 30, 2023.

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images Ryan Murphy
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images Ryan Murphy

Related: USA Gold Medalist Swimmer Ryan Murphy Marries His College Sweetheart in Lake Tahoe Wedding! (Exclusive)

Murphy says Konttinen "was doing most of the wedding planning," as he continued training for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers. (That same month, it was reported that Murphy had qualified for the 2024 U.S. Olympic trials in June.)

"I was very much in just the support role there," he says with a laugh.

"It was cool to have another project in September. And then really, since then, I've just been kind of riding the emotional high of that day," Murphy says of his wedding, adding that "it was the best day ever."

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Later, when Murphy and his teammates reunited in Los Angeles in November to shoot promotional assets for NBC, the four-time gold medalist says, "I've felt that we've been in the Olympic year this whole time, but seeing all the lights and the production, that definitely adds another element to it."

He notes, "It definitely does kind of make it a little bit more real."

<p>Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images</p> Ryan Murphy, Team USA

Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Ryan Murphy, Team USA

Related: Ryan Murphy Says If Successful at Olympics It Will Be Culmination of 'a Lot of People's Hard Work'

Murphy continues, "It's always great to get back together with the team. I think we do have a great team culture, and so it's cool to see someone like Bobby Finke again. Jack Alexy's here, and I see him every day."

"We have an incredible group of athletes who are really training in a lot of different places, but we know that everyone's getting after and doing what they need to do to improve," he says.

In 2016, Murphy made his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, where he won gold medals in the men's 100m and 200m backstroke races. Five years later at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he helped Team USA win the men's 4x100m medley relay and set a new world record.

When Team USA arrives in Paris this summer, Konttinen will be in the city of love to cheer on her husband. "She'll be there," says Murphy. "They've already gotten an Airbnb, so hopefully I make it and they can keep that Airbnb," he jokes.

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.com. Watch the Paris Olympics and Paralympics this summer on NBC and Peacock.

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