Famous Female Swimmers People

Famous Female Swimmers

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List of famous female swimmers, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female swimmers list contains the most prominent and top females known for being swimmers. There are thousand of females working as swimmers in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic swimmers have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a swimmer then the people below should give you inspiration.

List ranges from Sanja Jovanović to Shayna Nackoney, plus much more.

While this isn't a list of all female swimmers, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female swimmers?" and "Who are the best female swimmers?"


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  1. 1

    Amanda Ray Beard is an American swimmer and a seven-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke. Beard's success has earned her the American Swimmer of the Year Award twice. She has won a total of twenty-one medals in major international competition, five ...more

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    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: Newport Beach, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Model, Swimmer
  2. 2
    Natalie Coughlin
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Natalie Coughlin Hall, née Natalie Anne Coughlin, is an American competition swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist. Ten days before her 20th birthday in 2002, she became the first woman ever to swim the 100-meter backstroke in less than one minute. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she became the first ...more

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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: Vallejo, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Swimmer
    • Credits: Dancing with the Stars
  3. 3
    Esther Williams
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Esther Jane Williams was an American competitive swimmer and actress. Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II, she joined Billy ...more

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    • Age: Died at 92 (1921-2013)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California, Inglewood
    • Profession: Businessperson, Actor, Swimmer
    • Credits: That's Entertainment!, Till the Clouds Roll By, Callaway Went Thataway, Neptune's Daughter, Million Dollar Mermaid, + more
  4. 4

    Charlene Lynette Wittstock, is a former South African Olympic swimmer who, after marrying Prince Albert II, became Princess of Monaco. Charlene is the daughter of Michael and Lynette Wittstock. She was born in Rhodesia to a family of German, Irish and English descent by way of South Africa and Rhodesia.more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
    • Profession: Crown Princess, Swimmer
    • Credits: My Little Prince
  5. 5
    Federica Pellegrini
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Federica Pellegrini is an Italian swimmer. A native of Mirano, in the province of Venice, she holds the women's 200 m freestyle world records, and won a Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Pellegrini became the first woman ever to breach the 4 minute barrier ...more

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    • Age: age 27
    • Birthplace: Mirano, Italy
    • Profession: Athlete, Swimmer
  6. 6

    Dara Grace Torres is an American former competition swimmer who is a twelve-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in three events. Torres is the first and only swimmer to represent the United States in five Olympic Games, and, at age 41, was the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the ...more

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    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Journalist, Athlete, Swimmer
    • Credits: Pyramid
  7. 7
    Stephanie Rice
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Stephanie Louise Rice, OAM is an Australian competitive swimmer. She won three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2009. On 9 April 2014, she confirmed her retirement.more

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    • Age: age 27
    • Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
    • Profession: Swimmer
  8. 8

    Laure Manaudou is a retired French Olympic, world and European champion swimmer. She has held the world record in freestyle events between 200 and 1500 meter. She is the daughter of a French father and a Dutch mother and the older sister of Florent Manaudou who is also an Olympic gold medalist swimmer.more

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    • Age: age 29
    • Birthplace: Villeurbanne, France
    • Profession: Swimmer
  9. 9
    Alexandra Paul
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Alexandra Elizabeth Paul is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Lt. Stephanie Holden in the television series Baywatch from 1992–97. She has performed in over 70 movies and television programs.more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Actor, Athlete, Swimmer
    • Credits: Christine, Baywatch, Dragnet, American Flyers, Spy Hard, + more
  10. 10

    Janet Beth Evans is an American former competition swimmer who specialized in distance freestyle events. Evans was a world champion and world record-holder, and won a total of four gold medals at the 1988 and the 1992 Olympics.more

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    • Age: age 44
    • Birthplace: Fullerton, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Athlete, Swimmer
    • Credits: Celebrity Circus, Showcase '68
  11. 11

    Summer Elisabeth Sanders is an American former competition swimmer and Olympic champion. Sanders now works as a sports commentator, reporter, television show host and actress.more

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    • Age: age 43
    • Birthplace: Roseville, California, USA
    • Profession: Actor, Sports commentator, Swimmer
    • Credits: Jerry Maguire, The Apprentice, Figure It Out, Skating with Celebrities, Beg, + more
  12. 12

    Diana Nyad is an American author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer. Nyad gained national attention in 1975 when she swam around Manhattan and in 1979 when she swam from North Bimini, The Bahamas, to Juno Beach, Florida. In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became ...more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Author, Sports commentator, Swimmer
    • Credits: Dancing with the Stars
  13. 13

    Kaitlin Shea Sandeno is an American former competition swimmer who is an Olympic gold medalist, world champion and former world record-holder. Sandeno was a member of the American team that set a new world record in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics.more

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    • Age: age 32
    • Birthplace: Mission Viejo, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Swimmer
  14. 14

    Dana Whitney Vollmer is an American competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and world record holder. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, she won a gold medal as a member of the winning United States team in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay that set the world record in the event. Eight years later at the ...more

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    • Age: age 28
    • Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Swimmer
  15. 15
    Sharron Davies
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Sharron Elizabeth Davies MBE is a retired swimmer from the United Kingdom. She won a silver medal in the 400-metre individual medley at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, and two gold medals at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. Since retiring from the sport, she has worked as television presenter and ...more

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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Plymouth, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Presenter, Swimmer
    • Credits: Gladiators, Gladiators: Train 2 Win, Superstars (2008)
  16. 16

    Jennifer Beth Thompson is an American former competition swimmer, and one of the most decorated Olympians in history, winning twelve medals, including eight gold medals, in the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Olympics. Thompson, a Massachusetts native who calls Dover, New Hampshire her hometown, began ...more

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    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Danvers, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Anesthesiologist, Swimmer
  17. 17

    Helene Emma Madison was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder. Madison won three gold medals in freestyle event at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming, along with Romeo Neri of Italy, the most successful athlete at the 1932 Olympics: women's ...more

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    • Age: Died at 57 (1913-1970)
    • Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
    • Profession: Swimmer
  18. 18
    Annette Kellerman
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Annette Marie Sarah Kellerman was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville star, film actress and writer. She was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing costume, instead of the then-accepted pantaloons, and inspired others to follow her example. She is often credited for inventing the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 89 (1886-1975)
    • Birthplace: Marrickville, Sydney, Australia
    • Profession: Actor, Vaudeville Performer, Writer, Swimmer
    • Credits: A Daughter of the Gods, Venus of the South Seas, Neptune's Daughter, National Red Cross Pageant, Jephtah's Daughter: A Biblical Tragedy
  19. 19
    Gertrude Ederle
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Gertrude Caroline Ederle was an American competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in five events. In 1926, she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Among other nicknames, the press sometimes called her "Queen of the Waves."more

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    • Age: Died at 98 (1905-2003)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Swimmer
  20. 20

    Maritza Correia is an Olympic swimmer from the United States. When she qualified for the USA Olympic Team in 2004, she became the first Puerto Rican of African descent to be on the USA Olympic Swimming Team. She also became the first Black United States swimmer to set an American and World swimming ...more

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    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico
    • Profession: Swimmer
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