An Appreciation For 5 USA Swimming Veterans Who Made An Impact On The Sport


An Appreciation For 5 USA Swimming Veterans Who Made An Impact On The Sport

By Shweta Krishnan, Swimming World Magazine Intern

The Tokyo Olympic Games are set to start in two days. The battle for the 52 spots on the USA Swimming roster was fierce as always, with the United States forced to leave some top-tier performers home. Meanwhile, several individuals have shifted into retirement, leaving behind numerous memories from their careers. Here are five veterans not competing in Tokyo and a look at their impact over the years.

Nathan Adrian

When talking about great sprinters, Nathan Adrian’s name is always in the conversation. For the past decade, Adrian has been responsible for anchoring numerous American relays to international success. He has been a reliable athlete, known to bring home the gold for Team USA. Even after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, Adrian brought a smile to the pool deck.  While it is disappointing to not see him competing this summer, the swimming world can celebrate Adrian and his stellar career.

Dana Vollmer


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Out of the sport for several years, Dana Vollmer was a huge asset to Team USA for over a decade, including the 2016 Olympics. Her success in the 100 butterfly was a longtime key for medley-relay medals. With many years of experience, she was always a familiar face on the pool deck, willing to give advice to younger swimmers. Vollmer medaled as a mother in 2016 and has inspired many females to pursue their dreams.

Matt Grevers

Known as a great in the backstroke, Matt Grevers has been an important part of USA Swimming for more than a decade. Even though he failed to make the Olympic team in 2016 and 2021, he proved that swimming is more than just winning medals. He has shown other athletes how the sport can be fun and about life lessons, including perseverance.

Ryan Lochte


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Ryan Lochte is an all-timer in the sport, an Olympic champion and world-record holder. His duels in the pool with Michael Phelps, especially in the 200 individual medley, were epic and brought more attention to the sport. Ever since he stepped onto the Olympic stage in Athens in 2004, Lochte inspired youngsters to chase their goals and always believe even the greats, such as Phelps, were beatable.

Michael Phelps

Regarded as the greatest swimmer of all time, Phelps has brought home at least six medals from the past four Olympic Games. With his retirement after the 2016 Games, the United States had a huge space to fill. Phelps brought talent to a wide array of events and loved representing his country in global competition. While he will always be around the pool deck, the competition will not be the same without him.

These veterans have helped pave the way to make USA Swimming what it is today. With their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, the sport has improved immensely in the past decade. As a new generation emerges, the veterans’ impact will continue to be felt.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Hannah F
2 years ago

Only one female? I think we can do better than that.