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Who is the All Time Greatest Swimmer

We are compiling a list of the greatest athletes from the sport of swimming, which will then be voted on and the winner placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (all sports).

The first stage is to get nominations for swimming before the vote is started. See the current list below of top athletes, compiled using other published lists and visitor feedback. If you believe that there is someone missing from this list, please place a comment below, including any relevant details about the person.

Swimming Greatest

The athletes below are listed in no particular order - once the shortlist is complete then you will be able to vote for who you think is the greatest of all. This list is not complete - if you know of someone who should be listed here, let us know using the comment form below.

name notes
Alexander Popov Russia
Dawn Fraser female swimmer from Australia, was the first woman who swam the 100-meter event in less than a minute. She won the gold medal in the 100 m freestyle for 3 successive Olympic games.
Grant Hackett Australia, 1500m swimmer
Ian Thorpe Australia
Jennifer ("Jenny") Elisabeth Thompson She won 12 Olympic medals (8 golds). She was the USA Swimmer of the Year in 1993 and 1998.
Johnny Weissmuller Weissmuller was one of the best swimmers of the world during the 1920s. He won 5 Olympic gold medals plus one bronze. He also set 67 world records. He famously went on to star in films as 'Tarzan'
Kristin Otto Germany
Krisztina Egerszegi Hungarian swimmer. She was World Swimmer of the Year 3 times, and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2001. She retired from the sport aged just 22. She was one of the youngest Olympic champions ever when she won the 200 m backstroke in 1988. She won that event two more times.
Mark Spitz US swimmer Spitz shot to fame when he won 7 gold medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Not only did he win these medals, he set world records in all the seven events he participated in. He was named the swimmer of the year in 1969, 1971, and 1972. Sports Illustrated magazine voted him one of the greatest Olympians and the athlete of the century in 2000.
Matt Biondi USA Swimmer Biondi participated in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympics, winning a total of 11 Olympic medals
Michael Gross known as "The Albatross", from West Germany
Michael Phelps Phelps won a record total of 22 Olympic medals, with 18 golds. He was named the World Swimmer of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007.
Shane Gould Australia

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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