Ryan Michalko '18

Name: Ryan Michalko

Year: 2018

Hometown: San Diego, California

Major: International Affairs

Campus Activities: GW Men’s Water Polo

Relationship Status: Single

How does it feel to be this week’s campus celebrity cutie?

I actually didn’t really know it was a thing until I got it so it’s a little surprising. But it’s cool and kind of flattering too.

Water polo is not a generic sport. How did you get into it?

It’s way more popular in Southern California than it is on the east coast. The high school I went to went has a really strong program and we were in the CIF championship every year that I was in high school. I like contact sports and it’s a pretty physical game so it was a natural fit- plus my brother and a lot of my older friends played so they helped talk me into it.

What position do you play?

I play center. I post up right in front of the goal and back into the center defender, who’s often the other team’s biggest guy. I’m actually positioned with my back to the goal at the 2 meter line so I can see where my teammates are trying to feed it to me. It’s one of the more physical positions and it requires a lot of wrestling with their big defender.

What is the most rewarding thing about being on the team?

The comradery and brotherhood we’ve got going is something that feels very special about our team. The social status doesn’t hurt either but getting to hang out with each other all day and somehow not get sick of each other is pretty cool.

What’s the most challenging thing?

A lot of late nights and early mornings- typical stuff like that. The hardest though is that in season, you don’t get to have any real weekends because we’re always traveling to away games or tournaments so we always have to have our work done ahead of time or take it with us and do it between games.

What do you do in your off-season?

We do a lot less cardio and a lot more lifting and shooting instead. We also have way lot more free time on the weekends so as soon as the weather starts to warm up, we’re all going up to the Vern to play football, soccer, and kickball. There’s just more time to relax and hang out.

What do you expect from yourself in the coming years?

I want to make a stronger impact on the team by putting in the work to come back bigger, strong and faster next year so hopefully I can help morph the team in the right direction.

What is your greatest GW moment?

This year, we played Bucknell at home during Alumni weekend and I scored a backhand in the final minute that helped put us into overtime. It was fun to do that with last year’s seniors watching since they’re the guys that helped shape me into the player that I am today. It was cool to show them that the next generation is stepping up to help fill their shoes.

Favorite Athletes:

Kobe Bryant and Gronk.

Are there any sports you watch on TV or are into besides water polo?

NBA- I love Kobe and the Lakers. I also used to watch UFC religiously and still watch when I can. I’m a black belt so I’ve always found MMA extremely cool.

What are your hobbies out of the pool?

I really like being outdoors. I like hiking, fishing, and the beach. Anything at the beach, really. I like music and partying and hanging out with my friends too.

Favorite shows:

Breaking Bad, Blue Mountain State, Family Guy, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

What is the first thing you notice in a girl?

Probably the way she carries herself; like her attitude. That or her eyes- I’m a sucker for some baby blues.

Turn-ons, turn-offs?

I like confidence and girls who know what they want and can speak up about it. I don't really care for entitled girls and the ones with the whiny voices that make everything sound like a complaint. I’ve noticed that those two usually go hand-in-hand.

Best pick-up line:

I wouldn’t say that there’s any magic pick-up line that works in all situations. You really have to feel the girl out for a little to see what’s she’s about. And for me, I think a well-timed wink goes a lot further than any line could.

3 words that best describe you:

Laid-back, outspoken, and loyal.

Describe your dream date.

I’m not super romantic, so nothing fancy. Probably just hanging out at the beach all day and I’d definitely work a Jacuzzi in there somehow.

Guilty pleasure:

A lot of times when I’m working out and lifting weights, I’ll be playing girl pop music in my headphones like Katy Perry or Britney. Sometimes I get tired of the same old rap workout playlists so I’ll put on my Lady Beats as a change of pace. There’s just something about Katy Perry that gets me really hype-y.

Music Taste:

I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers- they’re far and away my favorite band. I’d probably put Nirvana second. As far as rap goes, I really like Kendrick, J. Cole, and A$AP Rocky.

Fun fact:

I have about a dozen Hawaiian shirts that I’ve gotten at thrift stores and places over the years. Hawaiians just give off this vibe that you’re just there to party and there’s like a mutual respect between dudes rocking Hawaiians- game recognizes game. As far as I’m concerned, anything worth doing is worth doing in a Hawaiian.

Celebrity crush:

Blake Lively. Either her or Elsa from Frozen.