The 28-year-old breaststroke king initially hated the water so much that he was kicked out of his private learn-to-swim lessons, given a full refund and told to look at other sports.
“I don’t remember, I was very young — three or four — but the story goes it was a private learn-to-swim pool in someone’s backyard with an elderly lady and she took me in for one lesson and I refused to pretty much do anything she said,” Sprenger said.
“I hated the water and I just screamed the whole time, apparently.
“About halfway through the lesson the lady came to mum and said, ‘You can have your money back. I just can’t teach him. It’s not going to happen. You might have to try another sport’.