The 10 best swimming gold medalists of all time have earned their illustrious names and gold medals through their diligence and dedication. They have left lasting impressions on the world because of their high achievements, world records broken, service, and status as inspirational icons to the swimming community and the world.
- Kristin Otto of Germany clinched 7 gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games. This feat set her apart from her counterparts. Moreover, she shines with 7 World Championship gold medals, and 5 European Championship gold medals. She propelled herself to swimming glory, remaining an uncontested victor in aquatic history.
- Kristina Egerszegi, who rose to a stellar swimming career in the 1980’s and 1990’s, is among the best swimming gold medalists of all time. She captured 5 Olympic gold medals, 9 European Championship gold medals, and 2 World Championship gold medals. She was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. She was the youngest to ever win a medal in swimming at the Olympics at the tender age of 14.
- Gertrude Ederle swam to worldwide distinction as one of the best swimming gold medalists of all time, literally riding on the waves. She led the way as the first female to accomplish a trans-English Channel swim in 1926, shattering the record for fastest time (championing the male record). She won gold at the 1924 Paris Olympics and stroked her way to twenty-nine swimming records.
- Dawn Fraser, a top female prominent swimming celebrity, has claimed 5 Olympic gold medals and has wrecked twenty seven swimming world records. At the Rome Olympics, she pioneered the sub-minute time for the women’s 100m freestyle. The Commonwealth Games witnessed Fraser’s grand marine talent in display as the Australian starfish succeeded in procuring six gold medals. The Australian Sports Hall of Fame voted Fraser World Athlete of the Century.
- Jenny Thompson is notable among her swimming peers as one of the best swimming gold medalists of all time. She has a long standing presence, participating in four Olympic games: 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004, acquiring 8 Olympic gold medals and 12 gold World Championship medals.
- Ian Thorpe towers 6ft.5in and stands high among the best swimming gold medalists. Many thought that his height would pose a barrier to his swimming career; however, to date, he boasts 5 Olympic gold medals, 11 World Championship gold medals, 8 Commonwealth Games gold medals, and 9 Pan-Pacific Championship gold medals. He has won himself recognition as one of Michael Phelps’ arch rivals. Thus far, twenty-two times in his career he has broken swimming records.
- Johnny Weissmuller soared in the world of swimming in the 1920’s. He appropriated to himself 5 Olympic gold medals, fifty-two U.S. National Championships, and breaking about sixty-seven world records in his lifetime. During the 1920’s, Weissmuller stood unbeatable.
- Alexander Vladimirov Popov, one of the most heavily medaled swimmers of all time, still sports a lanky, athletic frame. With 31 gold medals, 12 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals, Popov’s name numbers among the best swimming gold medalists of all time. He has won every major swimming meet in the world including the European Championships, the World Championships, and the Summer Olympic Games. World record holder and freestyle king for the 50m and 100m, Popov’s golden name has wowed millions. He established his name as member of the International Olympic Committee in 1999.
- Mark Spitz, another aquatic, legendary figure, projected himself as best swimming gold medalist of all time. Spitz earned his landmark victories-seven gold medals-during the 1972 Summer Olympics when he emerged victor, simultaneously consolidating seven world records. Spitz possesses titles such as greatest Olympian and gold medalist of all time. In all, his Olympic gold count reaches nine. Since then, the only person to have ever equaled or surpassed his one-time feat is Michael Phelps.
- Michael Phelps’ name undoubtedly ranks number one. He radiates among the best swimming gold medalists of all time. Never watered down, always concentrated on the gold; Phelps has taken unfathomable leaps and bounds. Seizing 14 Olympic gold medals-complete with world and Olympic records-the 23-year old still has years of promise ahead of him. At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Phelps splashed his way to a remarkable 8 gold medals.
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