Best Swimmer of All-Time?

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    • #12516
      griz
      Member
    • #37456
      Anonymous
      Member

      3 for serious consideration …

      1- Phelps (for all the reasons stated in the article)

      2- Spitz … for all the obvious reasons including his swims other than the 1972 games.

      3- Johnny Weissmuller … he won five Olympic gold medals (3 individual/2 relay), one bronze medal, won fifty-two U.S. National Championships (36 individual/16 relay), owned 94 American records, and set sixty-seven (51 individual/17 relay) world records. He also won the Chicago Marathon twice. He never lost a race and retired from his amateur swimming career undefeated. Here are his time progressions … pretty impressive especially when one considers the era and the available technology. Many of his outdoor records were set while swimming in open water pools (i.e., lakes or oceans). Plus, he was the original TARZAN–hard to beat that.

      (Outdoor)
      (Event) (Year) (Time)
      50-yards 1921 23.2
      50-yards 1922 23.0
      100-yards 1922 52.8
      100-yards 1923 54.6
      100-yards 1925 52.0
      100-meters 1926 59.6
      100-meters 1927 58.0
      100-meters 1928 57.8
      220-yards 1 921 2:28.0
      220-yards 1922 2:22.4
      440-yards 1922 5:16.4
      440-yards 1923 5:37.4
      440-yards 1925 5:22.5
      440-yards 1926 5:21.8
      440-yards 1927 4:52.0
      440-yards 1928 4:58.6

      (Indoor)
      (Event) (Year) (Time)
      50-yards 1923 23.6
      50-yards 1924 24.0
      50-yards 1925 23.2
      100-yards 1922 54.0
      100-yards 1923 54.8
      100-yards 1924 53.8
      100-yards 1925 52.2
      100-yards 1927 51.4
      100-yards 1928 50.8
      Pentathlon 1922
      Pentathlon 1923 (Tied)
      220-yards 1922 2:17.4
      220-yards 1923 2:22.0
      220-yards 1924 2:14.8
      220-yards 1927 2:10.8
      220-yards 1928 2:10.4
      500-yards 1922 5:46.8
      500-yards 1923 5:43.6
      500-yards 1924 5:50.4
      500-yards 1927 5:28.4
      500-yards 1928 5:35.0
      150-yd Bkstroke 1923 1:42.0

    • #37457

      I saw the article online. I saw that there seemed to be a glaring omission: where is Kieran Perkins? Two golds (Olympic 1500, ’92 and ’96), WR’s (1500 and 400), WC’s, etc.

      Where are Tom Jager, Tom Dolan and Mike Barrowman? What about Tamasz Darnyi? Certainly Dolan, Barrowman and Darnyi suffer in this ranking because they weren’t on relays, but they all set WR’s and won WC’s and Olympic Golds, and in the case of Darnyi and Dolan, were at the peak of their careers considered the most versatile swimmers in the world.

      Question: if Weismuller never lost, what did he win a bronze medal in?

    • #37458
      Anonymous
      Member

      His bronze came as a member of the US Water Polo team in the 1924 Olympics (Paris, France). My mistake in not clarifying. Sorry about that.

    • #37459
      DonCheadle
      Member

      Who was better compared to their competition?

    • #37460
      Chris Knight
      Member

      @PioneerSwimming wrote:

      Where are Tom Jager, Tom Dolan and Mike Barrowman? What about Tamasz Darnyi? Certainly Dolan, Barrowman and Darnyi suffer in this ranking because they weren’t on relays, but they all set WR’s and won WC’s and Olympic Golds, and in the case of Darnyi and Dolan, were at the peak of their careers considered the most versatile swimmers in the world.

      I would give all those HM status (at worst), and also offer Duke Kahanamoku (Probably the coolest swimmer of all time, and a pioneer in the crawl), Brian Goodell (winner of the greatest race of all time), and Tim Shaw (my all-time favorite swimmer, arguably the toughest ever).

      The formula they came up with is a solid one, but it needs to account for how long a record is held. For example, Mike Barrowman’s 2:10.1 stood for a decade – surely we wouldn’t consider Andriy Serdinov’s 100 fly record from 03 (which stood for about 5 minutes) as being equivalent to that?

    • #37461
      Chris Knight
      Member

      Oh, and also they didn’t give Schollander enough credit. He was the 200 Fr. record holder at the time of his Olympic victories in the 100 and 400, but they didn’t have the 200 as an event at the time. And I think he was left off of one of the relays, so he should have had another 2 golds. He was completely dominant in the frees in his era.

    • #37462
      CaseBrst10
      Member

      In the EPSN article there do seem to be a few names missing…
      barrowman is a good example
      erik wendt?

    • #37463
      Anonymous
      Member

      It seems to me that to be called the greatest that the person has to dominate the sport over a period of time and do so over a significant range events. Adding guys like Schollander, Kahanamoku, and Dolan seems appropriate. They dominated their eras and did so across a number of events. Barrowman, however, dominated in pretty much 1 event only. I don’t think that this qualifies as being the greatest ever. I would put guys like Bruce Furniss and John Naber even ahead of him. Barrowman’s dominance, rather, was more in line with guys like Britain’s David Wilkie or Germany’s Roland Mathis.

    • #37464
      swim5599
      Member

      Mark Spitz was a great swimmer do not get me wrong, but what Phelps is doing right now is so much more spectacular. No one would argue with me that the depth in swimming is so much greater then it was in 1972, so that being said Phelps 7 golds at the WC’s are a better performance then Spitz’. However until this is done at the Olympics which is a bigger stage Spitz stands alone. BUT not for much longer

      Barrowman was an amazing swimmer. I can remember seeing results from the Eastern Michigan Invite from when Barrowman was maybe a freshmen at Michigan I want to say he went 58.8 in the 100 breast, 3 years later he was the WR holder in the 200 breast.

    • #37465
      Chris Knight
      Member

      @bigdogracing wrote:

      It seems to me that to be called the greatest that the person has to dominate the sport over a period of time and do so over a significant range events. Adding guys like Schollander, Kahanamoku, and Dolan seems appropriate. They dominated their eras and did so across a number of events. Barrowman, however, dominated in pretty much 1 event only. I don’t think that this qualifies as being the greatest ever. I would put guys like Bruce Furniss and John Naber even ahead of him. Barrowman’s dominance, rather, was more in line with guys like Britain’s David Wilkie or Germany’s Roland Mathis.

      I would certainly never consider any of those guys as a candidate for THE best ever. To me Spitz 26 WRs and the 72 performance, and Phelps’ 20 WRs, 1st to set WRs in 3 disciplines, and all his international medals separate those two from the field by a huge margin. However, this list went to 10 and offered an Honorable Mention category, and the title of “Man who held a WR for the longest time” (13 years!) means Barrowman has to be brought up in the discussion. But no, he is certainly not in the realm of Phelps and Spitz.

    • #37466
      silentp
      Member

      I think it’s pretty obvious that this formula is flawed when Weissmuller is left off (only getting a mention below) and Klim is top 5. There is no way Klim should be in the discussion. Also, relays don’t mean anything for best all time, that will just skew things for Americans.

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