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Swimming The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming  

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List of the best Olympic athletes in the sport of swimming. Olympians on this list have competed at the Olympic games in swimming. Olympic athletes on this list have made it all the way to the Olympics in their sport and have either won their event or did not even place. But this list isn't just about winners, times, distances and points, it's about who are the public's favorite Olympic athletes in swimming. Olympians on this list have captured the hearts of the public in one way or another, and have led their peers in swimming competitions. Only the greatest swimming Olympic athletes are featured on the front page of this list, so vote for your favorites and let only the best swimming Olympians see the top. Swimming athletes who have competed in the Olympics don't all have what it takes to be called the "best" in their Olympic sport, so vote carefully and make sure that only the true greats get a place on the front page of this list. Examples of athletes on this list include Amaury Leveaux and Brenton Rickard. You may want to copy this fact-based list to build your own just like it, re-rank it to fit your opinions, then publish it to share it with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers or with any other social networks you use regularly. (250 items)
list ordered by

1
117 15
Michael Phelps is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 32 Michael Fred Phelps II is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals, ...more

2
44 3
Katie Ledecky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
OCD Man added age 21 Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky is an American competition swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and current world record-holder in multiple events. She is the current world record holder in the 400-, ...more

3
31 2
Murray Rose is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
IanHarvey added Died at 73 (1939-2012) Iain Murray Rose, AM was an Australian swimmer, actor, sports commentator and marketing executive. He was a six-time Olympic medalist, and at one time held the world records in the 400-metre, ...more

4
46 5
Sarah Sjöström is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 24 Sarah Fredrika Sjöström is a Swedish swimmer. On 5 July 2014 she beat the world record for women on 50 meter butterfly. On 22 March 2008, at the age of 14, she took the gold medal in ...more

5
46 5
Inge de Bruijn is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
IanHarvey added age 44 Inge de Bruijn is a Dutch former swimmer. She is a four-time Olympic champion and a former world record holder.

6
41 4
Libby Lenton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 33 Lisbeth "Libby" Constance Trickett, OAM, née Lisbeth Constance Lenton, is an Australian competition swimmer. She was a gold medallist at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the 2008 ...more

7
54 7
Pieter van den Hoogenband is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 40 Pieter Cornelis Martijn van den Hoogenband is a Dutch former swimmer and a triple Olympic champion.

8
44 5
Britta Steffen is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 34 Britta Steffen is a German swimmer who specializes in freestyle, who is the current holder of the world record in women's 50 and 100 metre freestyle. In 1999, Steffen won six titles at the ...more

9
45 6
Leisel Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 32 Leisel Marie Jones OAM is an Australian former competition swimmer and Olympic gold medallist. A participant in the 2000 Summer Olympics – at just 15 years old – and 2004 Summer Olympics, she ...more

10
53 9
Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 35 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 ...more

11
26 3
Krisztina Egerszegi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
IanHarvey added age 43 Krisztina Egerszegi is a Hungarian former world record holding swimmer and one of the greatest Hungarian Olympic champions of the modern era. She is a three-time Olympian and five time Olympic ...more

12
34 6
Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 45 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, ...more

13
33 6
Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Dave_7672 added age 30 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 ...more

14
27 4
Laure Manaudou is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Dave_7672 added age 31 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 ...more

15
38 11
Ian Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 35 Ian James Thorpe, OAM is an Australian swimmer who specialises in freestyle, but also competes in backstroke and the individual medley. He has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any ...more

16
32 9
Aaron Peirsol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 34 Aaron Wells Peirsol is an American former competition swimmer and backstroke specialist who is a former world champion and world record-holder. He is a three-time Olympian and seven-time Olympic ...more

17
21 3
Camille Muffat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Dave_7672 added age 28 Camille-Marie Manuella Muffat was a French swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist. Swimming out of the "Olympic Nice Natation" club, she specialized in the individual medley and the ...more

18
23 4
Rūta Meilutytė is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 21 Rūta Meilutytė is a Lithuanian swimmer, Olympic gold medalist, and world record holder. She is the current world record holder in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke. At the age of 17 she is also ...more

19
24 5
Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
chicosh added age 22 Melissa Jeanette Franklin is an American competition swimmer and four-time Olympic gold medalist. She currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke and American records in both ...more

20
31 11
Amanda Beard is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 36 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 ...more

21
38 17
Mark Spitz is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 68 Mark Andrew Spitz is an American former competition swimmer, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in multiple events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics ...more

22
22 4
Pernille Blume is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 23 Pernille Blume is a Danish swimmer. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed for the national team in the Women's 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay, finishing in 6th place in the final.

23
23 5
Hayden Stoeckel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 33 Hayden Ernest Stoeckel is an Olympic and National Record holding backstroke swimmer from Australia. He swam for Australia at the 2008 Olympics where he tied with Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin for ...more

24
22 5
Emily Seebohm is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 25 Emily Jane Seebohm, OAM is an Australian backstroke, freestyle, butterfly and individual medley swimmer.

25
23 6
Inge Dekker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 32 Inge Dekker is a Dutch butterfly and freestyle swimmer, who won the bronze medal with the Dutch women's 4×100 m freestyle relay team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She did ...more

26
29 11
Dara Torres is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 50 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 ...more

27
19 3
Grant Hackett is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 37 Grant George Hackett OAM is an Australian swimmer most famous for winning the men's 1500 metres freestyle race at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. ...more

28
22 6
Jessica Hardy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Dave_7672 added age 31 Jessica Adele Hardy is an American international swimmer who specializes in breaststroke and freestyle events. Hardy earned a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle and a gold medal in ...more

29
20 5
Ferry Weertman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 25

30
28 12
Janet Evans is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 46 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 ...more

31
23 8
Haley Cope is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 38 Haley Cope is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder. She won a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, eight world championship medals, and ...more

32
25 10
Rebecca Adlington is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 29 Rebecca "Becky" Adlington, OBE is a retired English freestyle swimmer. She won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400 m and 800 m, breaking the 19-year-old world record ...more

33
19 5
Brendan Hansen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 36 Brendan Joseph Hansen is an American competition swimmer who specializes in breaststroke events. He is a six-time Olympic medalist, and is also a former world record-holder in both the 100-meter ...more

34
29 14
Ryan Lochte is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 33 Ryan Steven Lochte is an American competitive swimmer and an 11-time Olympic medalist. His seven individual Olympic medals ranks near the top in men's swimming. As part of the American team, he ...more

35
22 8
Alain Bernard is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 34 Alain Bernard is a former French swimmer from Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône. Bernard won a total of four medals at two Olympic Games. He also won numerous medals at the World Championships and ...more

36
19 6
Kirsty Coventry is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 34 Kirsty Leigh Coventry is a Zimbabwean swimmer and former world record holder. She attended and swam competitively for Auburn University in Alabama, in the United States. At the 2004 Summer ...more

37
16 4
Katinka Hosszú is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 28 Katinka Hosszú is a female Hungarian swimmer, who has competed three times at the Summer Olympics: 2004, 2008, and 2012. She currently swims for the Vasas SC, Hungary, under head coach

38
17 5
Stephanie Rice is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 29 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 ...more

39
17 5
Sharon van Rouwendaal is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 24 Sharon van Rouwendaal is a Dutch swimmer. She grew up in Soest, and later moved to France with her parents. In 2009, she moved to Eindhoven to train with Jeanet Mulder, after she had qualified ...more

40
13 2
Andrew Lauterstein is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 30 Andrew George Lauterstein is an Australian swimmer and a three-time Olympic medalist.

41
14 4
Elizabeth Beisel is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 25 Elizabeth Lyon Beisel is an American competition swimmer who specializes in backstroke and individual medley events. She has won a total of nine medals in major international competition, four ...more

42
15 5
Kosuke Kitajima is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 35 Kosuke Kitajima is a Japanese multiple Olympic gold medalist breaststroke swimmer. He won gold medals for the men's 100 m and 200 m breaststroke at both the Athens 2004, and the Beijing 2008 ...more

43
15 5
László Cseh is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 32 László Cseh is a Hungarian five-time Olympic medalist swimmer. He is a 28-time European Champion.

44
13 4
Thomas Lurz is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 38 Thomas Lurz is a German swimmer who specializes in long-distance freestyle swimming, especially open water swimming. Lurz lives in Gerbrunn and swims for the SV Würzburg 05 sports club. He ...more

45
13 4
Jeanette Ottesen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 30 Jeanette Ottesen Gray is a Danish swimmer who participated at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics in swimming. She currently holds the Danish record in 100 m freestyle. She swims in the ...more

46
13 4
Femke Heemskerk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 30 Frederike Johanna Maria "Femke" Heemskerk is a Dutch swimmer who mainly specializes in freestyle, but also has a strong backstroke and medley. As part of the Dutch team, she holds the ...more

47
14 5
Lars Frölander is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 43 Lars Arne Frölander is a Swedish swimmer. He has competed in six consecutive Olympic Games.

48
14 5
Dániel Gyurta is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
Feriko890 added age 28 Dániel Gyurta is a Hungarian swimmer who mainly competes in the 200m breaststroke. Also known as Dani, he was only 15 years old when he won a silver medal in the men's 200m breaststroke ...more

49
14 5
Gary Hall, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 43 Gary Wayne Hall, Jr. is an American former competition swimmer who represented the United States at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics and won ten Olympic medals. He is a former world ...more

50
14 5
Brenton Rickard is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Swimming
age 34 Brenton Scott Rickard is a breaststroke swimmer from Australia. He emerged at the international level in 2006, swimming at the Commonwealth games. He has captured multiple Olympic and World ...more