Olympics Swimming 2012: Best Events for Top American Swimmers

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Swims Missy Franklin of the United States of America smiles in the pool during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Thanks to the presence of stars like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, among many others, swimming has become an Olympic phenomenon in the United States. 

It has always been popular, but prior to the 2012 London Olympics it might have been the most anticipated sport on display because of the star power attached to it. Everyone knows these names, which makes the sport easier to root for when the events get started. 

We have seen new stars, like Franklin, show the world why they are not only ready for the big stage, but likely to stay in the spotlight for a long time. 

As we move through all these events in the pool, here are the best remaining showcases for the top Americans. 


Missy Franklin, United States


100-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter medley relay

Franklin is the new face of women's swimming in the United States. She has one gold and one bronze medal to her name already, with the chance for a little bit more before she wraps up her first trip to the Olympics.

The 100-meter freestyle is not her specialty, though she can close so well that it would not be a surprise to see her make it to the podium. 

The team relay is where she is almost assured of another gold. The United States is the best team in this event, and it isn't particularly close. The qualifying time of three minutes, 52.36 seconds was almost three full seconds better than the second-place China team. 


Michael Phelps, United States


100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley

By his ridiculously lofty standards, Phelps has had a down performance in London. He did tie the Olympic record with his 19th medal after taking silver in the 200-meter butterfly on Tuesday, but he "only" has one gold in three events he has earned a medal. 

Phelps will set the record for most Olympic medals, I will go out on a limb to predict that. The 100-meter butterfly is going to be his best chance to earn another gold, as the butterfly is his specialty and he dominated the first half of the 200-meter butterfly before having victory taken away at the end by Chad Le Clos. 


Ryan Lochte


200-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley

Lochte wanted to prove that he was the star of the show for the United States, and so far he hasn't disappointed. He has won three medals, including two golds, but there is still work to be done. 

Even though a medal in the 200-meter individual medley looks like a very strong possibility, the backstroke is where Lochte shines. He finished second in the qualifying heat on Wednesday and should get stronger in the semifinals before turning on the jets in the finals on Thursday.