Famous Swimmers  

by Pool Builders on 05-09-2010 in Articles

There have been so many famous swimmers over the years. Olympic swimming has helped many of these people become famous for not just their medals but in other areas of their lives too. No matter whether you are young or old you can probably name at least one or two famous swimmers that you are familiar with. Let's look at a few of them and see if you know them too.

Johnny Weissmuller is one of the famous swimmers who you may have heard of. At birth his name was Johann Peter Weimller. He was born in Hungary on June 2, 1904 and in the 1920s he became of the best swimmers in the world. He won a total of 5 gold medals and one bronze one in the Olympics. Johnny also won a total of 52 US National Championships and set a whopping 67 world records. Once he retired from swimming he then became a well-known actor especially his portrayal of Tarzan and for developing the distinctive yell that is so well-known and recognizable. Weissmuller also appeared in Billy Rose's Aquacade with another popular swimmer of the day Esther Williams. This was done from 1939 to 1941 at the New York World's Fair. Johnny Weissmuller went on to do many other things before his death in 1984.

Esther Williams was another famous swimming star. She grew up in Los Angeles, California swimming at local pools and surfing at the beaches nearby. She competed with the Los Angeles Athletic Club and won 3 national championships for the freestyle and breaststroke. She was supposed to go to the 1940 Olympic Games, but they were called off because of World War II, this crushed her Olympic dreams of a gold medal and world fame. She also appeared in the Aquacade as mentioned above with Weissmuller. This lead to a movie lead in the first movie featuring swimming that Hollywood did, Bathing Beauty. Through this movie and her career Esther Williams played an important role in promoting competitive and the synchronized swimming of which she made popular.

Mark Spitz came along years later and many Olympics later. He was born on February 10, 1950 and was the oldest of three children. He grew up in Hawaii from age w and swam every day. By age 6 he was already competing in swimming at a swim club locally. He won many competitions and medals along his young competitive career. In the Pan American Games held in Winnipeg in 1967 he won a total of 5 gold medals, which was not beaten for 40 years. During the Olympic Games of 1972 though, he won an amazing 7 gold medals in Munich. Today he is a motivational speaker and entrepreneur. These are just a few of his accomplishments.

Michael Phelps is probably the best known swimmer of today. He was born in 1985 and was diagnosed in his young life with ADHD. He began swimming when he was 7 years old to burn off his excess energy and because his sisters swam too. By age 10 he excelled at the sport already. He steadily started winning age-group records. In 2000 he made the Olympic team at age 15. He is best known though for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 for breaking Mark Spitz record of 7 gold medals. Michael won 8 gold medals that year. He has broken a total of 37 world records as of August 2, 2009.

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