July 19th, 2016
Breaking through the trials to represent their country in the 2016 Olympic Games are those with the greatest agility, strength and dedication. The champions from years past are fighting to protect the gold from the younger underdogs. What U.S. swimmers are in the spotlight this year?
Michael Phelps — the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Phelps holds 6 of 20 possible long course swimming world records, all earned between 2008 and 2011. An especially good year for him was in 2009 when he claimed four swimming records at the World Championships.
During the height of his career, the legend swam every day, even on holidays and his birthday. Now he is coming out of retirement to compete in the Olympics at 30 years old. Phelps plans to retire permanently from competitive swimming after the 2016 Olympics are over, so this may be the last chance to see him take home gold.
Matt Grevers — almost represented the Netherlands (he has dual citizenship because his parents are from the Netherlands), but instead he decided to qualify for the U.S. team.
This two-time Olympian (2008 & 2012) has won four gold medals and a silver over his swimming career thus far. With a strong and well-honed backstroke, Grevers already qualifies for four Olympic events, but the one to tune into for sure is the 100-meter backstroke event.
Ryan Lochte — will this 11-time Olympic medalist return to his Beijing Games’ diet of McDonalds in Rio?
We sure hope so, he won two golds and two bronze on this diet. It’s always a treat to see Lochte and Phelps go head to head. This could very well be the final face-off between the two Olympic legends. While Lochte specializes in the backstroke and Phelps the butterfly stroke, both are world record holders in individual medley.
Katie Ledecky — an Olympic gold medal winner at age 15.
Four years later and after setting three women’s world records she is back for more. Her 400-meter freestyle record in 2014 is just 18 seconds short of the men’s record. This begs the question: Will she be able to beat the men’s record this year?
Watch her this year as she looks to shatter her own record in the 400-meter, and as she attempts to win gold in the 800 free and 200 free. Ledecky will also most likely participate in the 4×200 free relay as well.
Missy Franklin — there is a reason she is known as Missy the Missile.
In London four years ago, Franklin’s backstroke was the backbone to two gold-winning relays, and two gold medals of her own. Last year, Franklin took a year off from college in order to focus on training for the Rio Olympics. Now it is all starting to pay off. Expect to see good things from Missy in 2016 as she defends her 200-meter backstroke gold!
If you plan on watching any swimming events, don’t miss these five U.S. Olympic swimmers as they compete for gold. Gaze in awe as they cut through the water with grace and speed. In fact, it is almost guaranteed that a swimming record will be broken at this year’s Olympics. These races will go by fast. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them!