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This Is One Of The Most Fascinating Olympic Athletes In Rio

The past 16 years have been quite the journey for this Olympian.

By Lauren Stephenson | August 13, 2016

This is Anthony Ervin.

He's arguably one of the most fascinating athletes at the Rio games.

Ervin is the oldest swimmer to win an individual Olympic gold medal.

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He won the men's 50-meter freestyle on Friday — at the age of 35.

It's the same race he won for Team USA at the 2000 Sydney games — at the age of 19.

Ervin has seemingly lived multiple lives the past 16 years.

He retired from swimming in 2003. He traveled the world, moved to New York, joined a rock band and got a bunch of tattoos.

Ervin has Jewish, African American and Native American roots.

"Post-Olympic champion status was about rediscovering, rebuilding myself the way I wanted to be, not the way others — or at least the way I perceived others — wanted me to be," he told "CBS this Morning."

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Ervin sold his Olympic gold medal and donated the funds to relief efforts after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

He also battled depression and drug abuse.

But Ervin ended up getting back in the pool to teach swimming and rediscovered his passion for the sport.

He returned to the Olympics in 2012, but he didn't medal.

That changed Friday night.

He says his win will teach his newborn daughter a lesson. He says, "I want to tell her that the American Dream is for anybody, without exception."

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