The 2012 Olympic swim team swept the world off its feet and transformed swimming into a romantic, Herculean sport. Although the next games is still 3 years away, it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2016 Olympic hopefuls. There are already growing speculations about which swimmers will come out on top in Rio, Brazil. These 5 prospects have already earned their stripes in the swimming community, but will they make the cut once more?
Missy made her Olympic debut in London at the age of 17. While most kids her age were worrying about what to wear to prom, Franklin proved herself a top athlete in her sport. She left London with four gold medals, and currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke. That same year, she was named USA Swimming’s Swimmer of the Year. Most recently, Franklin competed at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona. She took home six gold medals and set a record for the most gold medals won by a female swimmer at a single World Championships. After all her recent success, and strong work ethic, we have a feeling that there’s no stopping in sight for this lady.
Current world 100-meter freestyle champion, this Aussie is set to make big waves in the 2016 Rio games. The 22 year old did well in his first Olympic competition in London, taking home one silver and one bronze. He also heads the Australian 4×100 relay, which also features high-ranking, international swimmers. To be in the mix in Rio, he’ll have to watch his actions both in and out side the pool. Magnussen was recently given a ‘yellow card’ and deferred suspensions for bad behavior in London in 2012. If he can stay on the right track, this Aussie is sure to be one to watch when 2016 rolls around.
At the age of 16, Ye Shiwen became an instant Olympic celebrity, both in London and in her home country of China, as she dominated the competition in the women’s 200- and 400-meter IM. The young swimmer has consistently improved over the last few years and is expected to gain even more speed as she further develops. No matter which country you’re rooting for, Shiwen is sure to be an exciting swimmer to watch in Rio in 2016.
The French Relay Team
The 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay team consisting of Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou, Fabien Gilot, and Jeremy Stravius recently took the gold medal at the 2013 World Championships held in Barcelona. They edged out the dynamic American relay team by a little over 2/10s of a second. Anchor Stravius accelerated from behind in a dramatic finish that put the French team on everyone’s Olympic radar. This could be the making of an interesting rivalry that could really spice up the already heated competition expected in Rio in 2016.
Will he or will he not retire? That’s the question on everyone Olympic-enthusiast’s mind. Originally Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, has stated that he plans to retire after the 2012 Olympic games in London. But, he has recently been vague about his up & coming plans and has not ruled out swimming altogether. The reason behind the change of heart? Apparently Phelps was disheartened by the US 400 meter freestyle relay team’s recent second place finish to the French. While nothing is certain and he’s definitely not in Olympic shape at the moment, don’t be surprised if Phelps hits the lanes later this year and begins training once again.
Think we’ve nailed it on the head or have we missed it big time? Chime in and let us know what your expectations for the 2016 Olympic hopefuls.
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