The lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was an exciting time to be a swim fan. Our top ten list of the most impressive swims of Rio Olympics includes performances by both Olympic Veterans and rising stars from around the world! Each of the swims we’ve selected are very impressive and were chosen to be on this list because they uniquely arouse admiration, awe, and respect on a global level.
10. Michael Phelps’s 4th 200m IM Win
Michael Phelps walked away from the Rio Olympics with an additional six medals, five of them Gold. It’s hard to wrap your head around just how much he has accomplished during his career. His 200m Individual Medley stands out because it was his 4th consecutive Olympic Gold Medal in the same event defeating his fellow countryman Ryan Lochte (the current World Record Holder), and winning by nearly two body lengths.
9. Lilly King 100m Breaststroke
First time Olympian, first time Olympic Gold Medalist. Lilly King of the USA defeated a star studded field in the women’s 100m Breaststroke making a statement to her competitors and to the world!
8. Ryan Murphy Leads Off the 4 x 100m Medley Relay With A World Record
Ryan Murphy became a triple Gold Medalist in the backstrokes in Rio. He won the 100m and 200m Backstroke. His lead-off in the medley relay broke Aaron Peirsol’s long-standing 100m Backstroke world record!
7. Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak Tie For Gold In The 100m Freestyle
Simone Manuel of the USA became the first African-American woman to win gold in an individual Olympic swimming event in Rio! Her incredible tie with Penny Oleksiak of Canada swim will go down in the history books!
6. Anthony Ervin Wins 50m free At Age 35
After winning the 50m Freestyle at the tender age of 19 at the Sydney Olympics, Anthony Ervin defended his title as world’s fastest man in an incredible performance in Rio!
5. Men’s 10km Open Water Finish
What a finish! What a race! It came down to a touch – Ferry Weertman wins the men’s 10k open water event by the slimmest of margins.
4. Sarah Sjostrom Breaks Her Own World Record In The 100m butterfly
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden had an incredible Olympic games. She broke her own world record in the 100m butterfly, capturing her first Gold Medal.
3. #IronLady (Katinka Hosszú) Shatters The World Record In The 400m IM
Katinka Hosszú of Hungary won 4 Olympic Medals. 3 Gold, 1 Silver. She shattered the world record and the field in the 400m Individual Medley. Incredible.
2. Katie Ledecky 800m Freestyle
Arguably the most versatile freestyle swimmer in history, Katie Ledecky dominated the 800m Freestyle and every other event she swam in Rio. Her range of speed is unheard of, and her distance prowess is admirable.
1. Adam Peaty’s 100m Breaststroke
Adam Peaty was racing the clock in Rio! His Breaststroke is head and shoulders better than any other swimmer on the planet. No one comes close to him in this race. His margin of victory: 2.7%, that’s more than Katie Ledecky’s ridiculous win in the 800m Freestyle (2.2%).