A 21-year-old US swimmer cried tears of joy after winning his first gold medal

Ryan-held-rio-olympics-swimmingGetty Images/Clive RoseGold medalists Nathan Adrian, Ryan Held, Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressell.

After Michael Phelps and his teammates won the gold medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay last night, 21-year-old swimmer Ryan Held was overcome with emotion — and the photos of his reaction are intensely moving.

The first-place finish was especially significant because France has won the gold in this event for the past two Olympic games. It was also Held’s first-ever international race.

“I’ve heard the national anthem plenty of times before, and I’ve received awards before, but this was different,” he told TODAY. “The emotions kind of manifested themself [sic] on the podium and the tears just started rolling.”

Here are a few more images from the touching medal ceremony:

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