Swimming Preview

The 53-person U.S. swimming roster for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was decided at the ultra-competitive U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June 2021. The U.S. is by far the most successful nation in Olympic swimming history, with 556 medals all time.

With a mix of established veterans — including many of the sport’s most decorated athletes — and talented breakout performers looking to establish themselves, Team USA aims to shine against the world’s best swimmers in Tokyo.

After winning an Olympic gold medal in each of his three events at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, as well as setting a world and Olympic record, Ryan Murphy has earned veteran status heading into 2021. The three-time world championships medalist in 2019 looks to repeat his success in Tokyo and continue to make his mark as one of the fastest backstrokers on the planet.

Murphy will be joined by Florida-native Caeleb Dressel, who broke Michael Phelps’ record by winning eight total medals at the 2019 world championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Dressel, who set the new world record in the 100-meter butterfly last year, looks to earn his first individual Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. Fellow 2016 gold medalists Gunnar Bentz, Chase Kalisz, Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni and Tom Shields also return for another run at the podium in Tokyo.

On the women’s side, Katie Ledecky has been dominant since claiming the 800-meter freestyle gold medal in London, winning 18 world championships gold medals — including five at the 2017 event — and setting multiple world records in the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle events. Lilly King, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 2016, has held two world records since 2017 and capped her senior year at Indiana University in 2019 with two NCAA championship titles. Also, back for another run at Olympic success is 2012 gold medalist Allison Schmitt, who is going to her fourth Games.

Potential breakout performers at the Tokyo Games include the likes of backstroker Regan Smith, and breaststroker Annie Lazor.

In open water events, the Team USA roster is also set for Tokyo. Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson, along with Ashley Twitchell and 2016 Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky, qualified for the Tokyo Games with their top-10 finishes at the 2019 world championships in Yeosu, South Korea.

Updated on June 24, 2021. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

• Olympian and triple world-record holder Katie Ledecky is chasing Olympic history at the Tokyo Games. With five Olympic gold medals to her name, Ledecky is three shy of joining Jenny Thompson (8) atop the list of female Olympic swimming gold medalists. Ledecky is the first swimmer since Janet Evans to hold the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle world records simultaneously.

• Eyes are sure to be on up-and-comer Regan Smith, who is on her first Olympic team. Smith, who is committed to Stanford, set the world record in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, capturing two gold medals along the way. However, in a shock upset she failed to qualify in the 200 back, but instead earned a second Olympic berth in the 200 fly.

• With her sixth-place finish in the 10-kilometer open water race at the 2019 world championships, Ashley Twichell made her first Olympic team on her fourth attempt, becoming at 32 the oldest U.S. Olympic rookie swimmer since 1908 and the third-oldest U.S. Olympic female swimmer ever after Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson. On the other end of the spectrum, 15-year-old Katie Grimes is the youngest swimming Olympian since Katie Ledecky in 2012.

• At 246 gold medals, the U.S. Olympic swim team is likely to notch its 250th gold medal in Tokyo. In 2016, the U.S. swim team recorded two gold medals (men's 4×100 freestyle relay and women's 400 freestyle) on the second day and two gold medals (men's 100 backstroke and women's 100 breaststroke) on the third day of swimming competition.

• Three new races will be added to the Olympic swimming program in Tokyo: the women’s 1,500 free, the men’s 800 free and the 4x100 mixed medley. Ledecky currently holds the 1,500 world record, which she set at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Indianapolis in May 2018, while the U.S. team that included Tokyo Olympians Lilly King, Caeleb Dressel and Simone Manuel holds the 4x100 mixed medley record, set at the 2017 world championships in Budapest, Hungary.


• A five-time Olympic gold medalist, Katie Ledecky has taken the world of swimming by storm. She is a world record holder in the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle, a 14-time world champion and NCAA champion. The 24-year-old won four titles at Trials.

• Caeleb Dressel, 24, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, 15-time world champion, NCAA champion and the 2019 FINA Best Athlete of the Year. He will look to Tokyo to try and earn his first individual Olympic medal of his decorated career.

• A three-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion, Ryan Murphy will surely be an athlete to watch in Tokyo. He is the world record holder in the 100 backstroke and an NCAA champion. Murphy, 26, will be the first U.S. swimmer to compete in the 100 and 200 at consecutive Olympic Games since Aaron Peirsol in 2004 and 2008.

• Allison Schmitt, 31, is just the fifth U.S. woman to qualify for four Olympic Games in swimming. She’ll look to continue her streak of at least one gold medal at each Olympic appearance so far.


• July 24, 2021: Olympic competition begins with heats in multiple events
• July 25, 2021: Finals in men’s 400 IM, men’s 400 free, women’s 400 IM, women’s 4x100 free
• July 26, 2021: Finals in women’s 100 fly, men’s 100 breast, women’s 400 free, men’s 4x100 free
• July 27, 2021: Finals in men’s 200 free, women’s 100 back, men’s 100 back, women’s 100 breast
• July 28, 2021: Finals in women’s 200 free, men’s 200 fly, women’s 200 IM, women’s 1,500 free, men’s 4x200 free
• July 29, 2021: Finals in men’s 800 free, men’s 200 breast, women’s 200 fly, men’s 100 free, women’s 4x200 free
• July 30, 2021: Finals in women’s 200 breast, men’s 200 back, women’s 100 free, men’s 200 IM
• July 31, 2021: Finals in men’s 100 fly, women’s 200 back, women’s 800 free, mixed 4x100 medley
• August 1, 2021: Finals in men’s 50 free, women’s 50 free, men’s 1,500 free, women’s 4x100 medley, men’s 4x100 medley
• August 4, 2021: Women’s 10K open water marathon
• August 5, 2021: Men’s 10K open water marathon