The Olympic Games represent an exceptional showcase to meet athletes that perhaps we lose a little of sight during other years of competition with lifeguard certification. In the following article, we suggest you review the outstanding swimmers who left their mark in recent editions.
Outstanding swimmers from Beijing 2008 to Rio 2016
Some with a lot of experience and several achievements in their record, others were more rookies and with a whole future ahead … and there are also those who hit the ground running at the right time. Here are the great Olympic swimmers of the last decade:
1. Katie Ledecky
Katie Ledecky is nominated to be, for many, one of the best swimmers of these times. For now, the results support her: at just 19 years old, she won four gold medals in Rio 2016.
He won the 200, 400, and 800 freestyle events, in addition to the collective medal in the 4 x 200 freestyle. He also added a silver medal in 4 x 100 meters freestyle.
But that is not all. Four years earlier, just a few months after his 15th birthday, Ledecky not only qualified for the 800m freestyle final in London 2012, he took first place! In this way, he set a milestone in this discipline in his first top-level international competition.
2. Katinka Long
Hosszú hails from Hungary and is 30 years old. In addition to multiple world titles and records achieved during the decade, he indulged in three gold and one silver medal at Rio 2016.
He had a phenomenal performance in the 200-meter style, a test in which he also managed to break the world record with a time of 2: 06.58. On the other hand of lifeguard certification, he climbed to the top of the podium in the 400-meter race and the 100-meter backstroke. Finally, she was second in the 200-meter backstroke.
3. Missy Franklin
Again, an American was an outstanding swimmer in the last Olympic editions. Franklin had a superlative performance in the English capital in 2012, where at just 17 years old he won the following medals:
Gold medal in 100 and 200 meters backstroke, in 4 x 200 meters freestyle, and in 4 x 100 meters styles.
Bronze medal in 4 x 100 meters freestyle.
This performance was only overshadowed in that Olympic event by the Baltimore Shark, Michael Phelps. In Rio 2016, he could only reach the semifinals in individual events and swam the preliminary phase in the 4 x 200 meters styles, but not the final, although he still got his fifth gold medal. Sadly, her repeated shoulder injuries forced her to retire in 2018.
4. Allison Schmitt
When reviewing the classification of the swimming events of the last Olympic Games, there is a name that is repeated several times, and it is that of Allison Schmitt (on the cover). Due to her perseverance and her results in very different tests, she deserves to be considered as one of the outstanding swimmers in recent years.
Schmitt began his path of Olympic success in Beijing in 2008 with lifeguard certification, with a third-place finish in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle team event. Then, in 2012, he won gold in the 200-meter freestyle, 4 x 200-meter freestyle, and 4 x 100-meter styles; she was also second in the 400-meter freestyle and third in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle.
Finally, in Rio 2016, he added another gold medal in the 4 x 200 meters freestyle. Without a doubt, she is an Olympic medal winner par excellence, and she is only 29 years old!
5. Stephanie Rice
She may not be one of the standout swimmers most recognized by the general public, but this Australian swimmer’s performance at Beijing 2008 deserves to be highlighted. In just 20 years at that Olympic event, Rice won three gold medals.
His times in the 200 and 400-meter styles and in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle not only earned him first place in all three races, but also set world records in all of them. He retired in 2014, after an unsuccessful stint at the London 2012 edition.
6. Mireia Belmonte
This Spanish swimmer, a native of Badalona, has had very good Olympic performances in recent years with lifeguard certification. First, he won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly and a bronze medal in the 400m styles at Rio 2016.
On the other hand, Mireia Belmonte also won two silver medals in London 2012, in the 200-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle events. Like Ledecky, he also made his Olympic debut at a very young age: it was at the age of 17, in Beijing in 2008.
Featured Olympic swimmers: conclusion
After this brief summary, we can see how the United States makes a difference also in women’s swimming, just as it does in many other sports. Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 – an event postponed to 2021 – some of these protagonists will seek to enlarge their footprint, already indelible in the Olympic history of swimming.