Olympic Swimming Comebacks

Olympic Swimming Comebacks

Olympic Swimmer Comeback Rumors

Rumors sometimes carry negative connotations, but not when we are dreaming about our decorated athletes returning to the competition pool after retiring or a short lived hiatus. So here we go, Rio is just around the corner and we would love to see some of our favorites make the trip.

Michael Phelps – The Big Guy

2016 Olympic Swimming ComebacksRumors have reached ‘beating a dead horse’ status, but everyone would love to see him return to the pool. A full schedule of events is unlikely, but relays and a modified run of events are solid possibilities. Seeing Phelps return to peak condition in events like the 400 IM and 200 Fly may be a stretch for a man who is a few years older and less committed to training towards his past favorite events, but the potential for comeback success is undeniable.

It would not be a stretch for Phelps to make the US team as a relay-only swimmer. By competing in the 100 Fly, 100 and 200 Free at the US Trials, he could potentially be a member on all three Olympic relays. And with strength of the US Olympic Swim Team program, he could add at least three more medals to his already heroic haul (in relays around mind you).

Should he compete individually, speculation stands to reason he may favor shorter events. The 100 Fly and 100 Free, as mentioned above, are possibilities. What about the 200 IM or even a 100 Back? The combinations of swims he could excel in are numerous, but all we have is a rumors and Michael’s circumspection.

Brooke Bennett – The Veteran

Brooke Bennett is a three time Olympic gold medalist from two Olympic games. She braved the comeback trail once before (post shoulder surgery) in the 2004, narrowly missing the team in her signature race, the 800 Free.

This time around, Bennett is taking a different approach. Training with Randy Reese at Clearwater in Florida, Bennett is hoping to make the Olympic team in open water competition. Training alongside a young Becca Mann, who already has experienced open water success, the pair are likely to be highly competitive at Trials.

Katie Hoff – The Fighter

Katie Hoff is an amazing young woman with talent and tenacity both in and out of the water. We last saw her compete in the 2012 Trials, and now she seems to be making a push towards being competitive once more. Swimming in a late November 2013 meet in Florida, Hoff posted a solid time in the 200 Free (1:45.93).

Rooting for Hoff is a no-brainer. Who couldn’t relate with a  likable young woman trying to achieve her goals.

Dagny Knutson

Then there is Dagny Knutson. Her path has been a battle scarred one, but like Hoff she has a strong backing of fans who wish her the best in the water and out. Whether or not Knutson will be making a return to the pool is completely up in the air. She has not been competing and has simply been focusing on getting her life back on track.

Dara Torres

Comebacks are a tricky thing, but they have been and will continue to be done successfully. When I hear the word comeback, Dara Torres always comes to mind. She is likely one of the biggest comeback success stories, and at the age of 41! Torres is a 12 time Olympic medalist spanning the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008 Olympics.

Bring on The Trials

As we get closer to Olympic Trials, our support and best wishes go out to all competitors- rookies and veterans alike!

Who would you like to see make a comeback? Let me know what you think.

See you at the pool – be it Oympic or otherwise!


About Emily Milak

Emily Milak is a lifetime competitive swimmer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. Emily is a US National Team champion, NCAA champion, and USMS champion with extensive coaching experience. She is a product development consultant at Kiefer.

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I've been a swimmer my whole life. My parents started me with lessons as a three year old and by five I had joined my first team. I started swimming year round at eight and by thirteen I was qualified for Junior Nationals. By fifteen I was a member of the US National Junior Team (National 'B' Team) and a Senior National Qualifier. I attened my first Olympic Trials in 2000 and finished third in the 200 butterfly. I am a US National Champion, three time NCAA Champion, NCAA record holder, and was a memeber of the US National 'A' Team for five years. I've competed in two World Championships, two Duel in the Pools, a Pan Pacific Championship where I earned a bronze medal in the 200 fly, and competitor in the Goodwill Games. I love to swim and love to coach. I have been working with 12 & Unders for the past ten years including a lengthy stint as the head age group coach in Houston, TX with the toughest bunch of little swimmers I have ever had the privilege of working with. Now I am a mom who swims! I substitute coach and swim master's. I have only competed at one Master's Nationals but walked away a two time champion.

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