Michael is a Florida native -- a state which has the tragic distinction of being the 'drowning capital of the world.' With countless backyard pools and access to water in virtually every direction, the risks are everywhere. For that reason, Michael's parents signed him up for rescue swim lessons as an infant and made sure he was 'water safe' as early as possible. His passion for the sport came later, when he began swimming competitively for a club team while living in Spain. Michael began college at Florida International University, however, after his freshman year, he decided to transfer to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York -- with its excellent opportunities in the legal field. After completing his studies, Michael aspires to become a private attorney and practice law.