Playing underwater is difficult yet much impressive. Swimming is one sport which is popular among many and the ones playing it are highly enthralled by it. Here, we bring to you an exciting article about top swimmers worth browsing through.

The lovers of swimming will surely love reading it. We bring to you a list of the 10 Top Swimmers of all Time who have earned their name in the history of swimming. Come, take a sneak peek and enjoy the countdown!

10 Top Swimmers of all Time

10. Grant Hackett

best swimmers at olympic
Grant Hackett

Grant Hackett, born in 1980, is a famous Australian former swimmer. He is the most known for winning the men’s 1500 metres freestyle race at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He, thus, became the greatest distance swimmers in history. He is a gold medalist and achieved this in Sydney for swimming in the heats of the 4×200 m freestyle relay. He is world record holder in the 1500 m and formerly in the 800 m freestyle. Also, he has achieved 2nd and 4th position in the 400 m and 200 m freestyle respectively. Besides, in the past decade, he has ruled over the 1500 m event standing undefeated in the finals of the World Aquatics Championship. All in all, he has won 10 World Championship gold medals.

9. Alexander Popov

Top Swimmers of all time
Alexander Popov

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Popov, or simply Alexander Popov, acquires the 9th place on our list of top swimmers of all time. Born in 1971, this former swimmer from Russia is a gold-winning Olympian and is considered among the best sprint freestyle swimmers of all time. One of his greatest accolades is that he is the only one in the history of both male and female swimmers to win four individual Olympic golds in freestyle events. When he was only 8 years old, he began swimming at the Children and Youth Sports School of Fakel Sports Complex in Lesnoy. Ironically, he was afraid of water at that time. However, due to the insistence of his father, he continued with the sport, and stayed with it. He started as a backstroker, but switched to freestyle after joining Gennadi Touretski’s squad. He later moved to Australia with his coach. He has several other medals and titles.

8. Matt Biondi

Best swimmers at Olympic games
Matt Biondi

Matthew Nicholas Biondi, or simply Matt Biondi, is at the 8th place on our list of top swimmers of all time. This former swimming champion from America was born in 1965, and is an eleven-time Olympic champion. He also formerly held world records in five events. He competed in the Summer Olympic Games in ’84, ’88 and ’92. He set four individual world records in the 100 m freestyle, and three individual world records in the 50 m freestyle, during his career. In ’88, he wold five golds in the Seoul Olympic Games, and set world records in three relay events and the 50 m freestyle. A member of the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Hall of Fame, he also has a master’s degree in Political Economy of Industrialized Societies, and has worked as a school teacher ad swimming coach.

7. Kristin Otto

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Kristin Otto

Kristin Otto holds the 7th place on our list of top swimmers of all time. Born in 1966, this former German Olympic champion is famous not just for her swimming skills and accolades, but also for being the first woman to win six gold medals in a single Olympic tournament; she did so at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She was also the first woman to cover the 100 m short course backstroke in less than one minute, and she did so at a global short course meet in 1983 at Indiana University. Freestyle, butterfly and backstroke were her specialties. She began swimming at the tender age of 12, and by the time she was 16, she participated in her first world championship, the World Aquatics Championship in 1982. Even though her career was marred when her alleged association with performance enhancement drugs was revealed, she still remains one of the biggest names in the history of women’s swimming and one of richest swimmers of all time.

6. Krisztina Egerszegi

Greatest female swimmers
Krisztina Egerszegi

In the 6th place on our list of top swimmers of all time is Krisztina Egerszegi, a retired swimmer from Hungary, who was born in 1974. This world record holder is counted among the greatest Olympic champions of the modern era from her country. She is a five-time Olympic champion, and is one of only three individuals besides Michael Phelps and Dawn Fraser to ever win the same swimming event during three consecutive Summer Olympics. She is, without a doubt, the most successful female swimmer ever, and is the only female swimmer to have won five individual Olympic gold medals. In the long course 200 m backstroke, she held her record for almost 17 years. In 2001, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and has been given honours like the Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year, Female World Swimmer of the Year, etc. several times.

5. Johnny Weissmuller

Greatest swimmers in history
Johnny Weissmuller

Johann Peter Weissmüller (born 1904 – died 1984) was an Austro-Hungarian-born American swimmer and actor. Winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal, he was one of the world’s best swimmers in the 1920s. Winning fifty-two US National Championships and having set sixty-seven world records, Weissmuller is a versatile swimmer of all time. Besides his swimming career, he has also played role as an actor. Portraying the role of a Tarzan, he has shown his talent in twelve motion films. He is at number 4 on our list.

4. Mark Spitz

Best american swimmers
Mark Spitz

Mark Andrew Spitz, born in 1950 is known by his nickname Mark The Shark. He is a retired American swimmer who has won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic gold medals, along with a silver and a bronze, five Pan American golds, 31 US Amateur Athletic Union titles and eight US National Collegiate Athletic Association titles. He, thus, sets 33 world records during these years. He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972. He, thereby, tops our list of the Top 5 Swimmers of all Time.

3. Ryan Lochte

all time best swimmers
Ryan Lochte

Tied in the 2nd place on our list of 10 top swimmers of all time is Ryan Lochte who was born in 1982 and is an American competitive swimmer and has earned 12 Olympic medals. He holds the world record in the 4×200 m freestyle relay, as part of the American team. He also has seven individual Olympic medals which rank near the top of the list of male swimming. Currently, he holds the individual world record in the 100 m medley, 200 m medley (both long and short courses), and the 400 m medley (short course). He was given the American Swimmer of the Year Award and the World Swimmer of the Year Award twice. He was also given the honour of the FINA Swimmer of the Year thrice. He has a total of 90 medals in major international swimming competitions, like the Olympics, Pan Pacific, Pan American and World Championships.

2. Ian Thorpe

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Ian Thorpe

Ian James Thorpe (nicknamed the Thorpedo and Thorpey) was born in 1982 and is a retired Australian freestyle swimmer. His winning five Olympic gold medals, made him the most won Australian. He is also the first person to win six gold medals in one World Championship. His this achievement was seen at the 2001 World Aquatics Championships. Ian Thorpe has won eleven World Championship gold medals, which is the second-highest number of any swimmer. Moreover, he was the first person to have been named Swimming World Swimmers of the Year four times, and was the Australian swimmer of the year from 1999 to 2003. His proven abilities and athletic achievements made him one of Australia’s most popular athletes. Ian Thorpe is, thus, recognized as the Young Australian of the Year in 2000.

1. Michael Phelps

Top Swimmers in history
Michael Phelps

Michael Fred Phelps was born in 1985, and is an American swimmer who has won 16 Olympic medals—six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at Beijing in 2008. He is also known by his nickname The Baltimore Bullet and is a highly competent swimmer. At the 1980 Moscow Summer Games, he has twice equaled the record eight medals of any type at a single Olympics achieved by Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin. Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won in a single Olympics. Michael Phelps Olympic medal total is second to the 18 Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina won over three Olympics. Phelps has won the title of World Swimmer of the Year Award six times and American Swimmer of the Year Award eight times. He has won a total of fifty-nine medals in major international competition, fifty gold, seven silver, and two bronze banging on the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships.

The Top Ranked Athletes List from Swimming at the Olympic Games

Rank Name Gold Silver Bronze Total Medals
Grant Hackett 3 3 1 7
Alexander Popov 4 5 0 9
Matt Biondi 8 2 1 11
Kristin Otto 6 0 0 6
Kristina Egerszegi 5 1 1 7
Johnny Weissmuller 5 0 0 5
Mark Spitz 9 1 1 11
Ryan Lochte 6 3 3 12
Ian Thorpe 5 3 1 9
Michael Phelps 23 3 2 28

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