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5 most successful female American swimmers at the Summer Olympics

Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer, Simone Manuel (from left to right) of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning the Women
Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer, Simone Manuel (from left to right) of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning the Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 12 Feb 2021
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Swimming is one of the most high-profile and well-attended sports at every Summer Olympics. The sport also has the second-most Olympic events, with only athletics having more.

Five most successful female American swimmers in the Olympics:

In swimming, the United States have been the most dominant nation in the history of the Summer Olympics. They have won more than 500 medals, including more than 200 golds.

Let's now take a look at the 5 most successful female American swimmers at the Summer Olympics (ranking is based on the number of golds won)


#5 - Missy Franklin

Gold - 5; Bronze - 1

Missy Franklin at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Missy Franklin at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

25-year-old Missy Franklin is a five-time Olympic gold medal winner. Franklin made her debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she won four gold medals and a bronze.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Missy Franklin won her fifth Olympic gold medal by triumphing in the 4 ร— 200 m freestyle relay.

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However, Missy Franklin announced her retirement from swimming at the end of 2018.


#4 - Katie Ledecky

Gold - 5; Silver - 1

Katie Ledecky at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Katie Ledecky at the 2016 Rio Olympics

23-year-old Katie Ledecky has won five Olympic gold medals in her glittering career.

Ledecky made her debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She won her first Olympic gold medal in the women's 800-metre freestyle event when she was only 15 years old.

At the next Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Katie Ledecky won four gold medals and one silver. She was the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Games.

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#3 - Dana Vollmer

Gold - 5; Silver - 1; Bronze - 1

Dana Vollmer
Dana Vollmer

33-year-old Dana Vollmer started her winning spree at the quadrennial competition at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Vollmer won gold in the 4ร—200-meter freestyle relay.

At the 2012 Olympics in London, Vollmer won gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly, the 4ร—100-meter medley relay and the 4ร—200-meter freestyle relay.

She also won three medals (one gold, one silver, one bronze) at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Dana Vollmer announced her retirement from competitive swimming in 2019.


#2 - Amy Van Dyken

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Gold - 6

Amy Van Dyken won the gold in the Women
Amy Van Dyken won the gold in the Women's 4 x 100-metre Freestyle Relay in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

47-year-old Amy Van Dyken, with six Olympic gold medals, is the second-most successful American swimmer in the competition's history.

Dyken won four golds at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which made her the most successful athlete in that edition of the competition.

She triumphed in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 4ร—100-meter freestyle relay and 4ร—100-meter medley relay. She also won a further two gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney,

In June 2014, Amy Van Dyken was severely injured in an accident that left her paralysed from the waist down.


#1- Jenny Thompson

Gold - 8; Silver - 3; Bronze - 1

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Jenny Thompson (third from left) won gold in the Women
Jenny Thompson (third from left) won gold in the Women's 4x200m freestyle relay in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

47-year-old Jenny Thompson is the most successful American female swimmer in Olympic history.

Thompson has won 12 medals, which includes eight gold, between the 1992 and 2004 Olympics; Her eight gold medals came exclusively in relay events.

After retiring, Jenny Thompson went on to study medicine and completed a residency in anesthesiology, followed by a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology.

Published 12 Feb 2021, 13:54 IST
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