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The Best Swimming World Records of All Time

Nothing spurs the seriously competitive swimmer on more than seeing how close they can get to reaching (or breaking!) a world record. Listed below for both enjoyment and inspiration are just a few of some of the best swimming records of all time. May they spur on, encourage and challenge the future champions and Olympians of tomorrow! Michael Phelps Where better to start than with the demi-god of the aquatic world? American Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, (over any sport!) with 22 Olympic medals in his collection. Add to that his 71 medals earned in various international long-course competitions, and it becomes clear that he is a true legend! He is the long-course world record holder in the following individual and group categories: 100m Butterfly (49.82 seconds), 200m Butterfly (1:51.51), 400m Individual Medley (4:03.84), 4x100m Freestyle Relay (total group time of 3:08.24), 4x200 Freestyle Relay (total group time of 6:58.55), and the 4x100m Medley Relay (total group time of 3:27.28). Missy Franklin Americans dominate in the best swimming world records, and the ladies category is no exception. Missy Franklin currently holds the records in four categories: 1. The 200m backstroke (long-course, 2:04.06), 2. The 4×100m medley relay (Long-course, 3:52.05 total time), 3. The 200m backstroke (short-course, 2:00.03), and the 4. 4×100m medley relay (short-course, 3:45.56 total time). Other Amazing World Record Achievements It's worth mentioning a few more swimmers who've achieved amazing things. Their outstanding achievements and contribution to the sport deserve to be mentioned here as another way of inspiring greatness for the serious swimmer.
  • Mark Spitz American Mark Spitz stormed into the 1972 Munich Olympic games and won seven gold medals, setting new world records in each! He remains a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Ian Thorpe This very popular Australian currently holds two world records in the 200m and 400m Freestyle events. He has been World Swimmer of the Year four times!
  • Krisztina Egerszegi This Hungarian great is truly a backstroke guru. She still holds the world record for the 200m Backstroke, and won 7 Olympic medals during her career, five of which were gold.
  • Diana Nyad Who? Well, if no one else inspires an at-home swimmer, let Diana Nyad be the one to amaze and impress. This 64 year-old author and journalist has broken and set numerous world records in long-distance swimming; including swimming from Bimini to Florida without a wetsuit in 1979 - a record that is still held today! In 2013, at the age of 64, she broke the record for distance swimming from Cuba to Florida without wearing a shark cage. This was her fifth attempt to achieve this incredulous feat! It just goes to show, a true swimmer never gives up and keeps striving for their personal best. Who knows, it may well end up being a world record!

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