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US Olympic Swimming Team 2012: 5 Overshadowed Great Performances in London

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2012

US Olympic Swimming Team 2012: 5 Overshadowed Great Performances in London

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    It's tough to get recognition for members of the U.S. swimming team these days if their name isn't Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte or Allison Schmitt. 

    There were others, like Rebecca Soni, who had phenomenal performances that were overshadowed by those four icons in the 2012 Olympic Games.

    On that note, we thought it would be good to honor those "other" Americans swimmers who put together noteworthy efforts that should have been highlighted more than they were. 

Rebecca Soni: 200-Meter Breaststroke

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    Not only did Rebecca Soni earn a gold medal for her performance in the women's 200-meter breaststroke, she also broke a world record in the process and became the first woman in history to break the  two-minute, 20-second barrier. 

    Her winning time of 2:19.59 was well over one second better than her next-best competitor. 

    Soni's efforts were worthy of front-page billing, but Michael Phelps was also swimming that night.

    He became the first man in history to win the same Olympic event in three straight Olympic Games when he won the men's 200-meter individual medley. 

Katie Ledecky: 800-Meter Freestyle

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    Katie Ledecky set an American record and won the women's 800-meter freestyle by more than four seconds to win the gold medal on August 3. 

    Did I mention that Ledecky is only 15 years old?

    Yeah, it was kind of a big deal. 

    But like Rebecca Soni, Ledecky happened to perform her feat of greatness on the same night that Michael Phelps was swimming. 

    Phelps won the men's 100-meter butterfly and accomplished his second Olympic three-peat in as many nights. 

    I'm sure that Phelps would have rather seen Ledecky be glorified on front pages everywhere than see his own mug plastered across the web, but us media types have trouble ignoring him when he's on his game.

Matthew Grevers: 100-Meter Backstroke

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    Matthew Grevers set an Olympic record by almost four-tenths of a second and won a gold medal for his performance in the men's 100-meter backstroke. 

    You likely don't remember his name, though, unless you're a Grevers fan or a swimming fanatic, because Grevers' fantastic performance happened to coincide with Missy Franklin's first individual gold medal on the same night. 

    Grevers' performance was worthy of headlines, but instead, he only received second-rate coverage.

Allison Schmitt: 400-Meter Freestyle

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    Allison Schmitt didn't earn the gold medal in the women's 400-meter freestyle, but her performance was one for the books.

    She set an American record in this event on July 29, but she was overshadowed by France's swimming sensation Camille Muffat, who set an Olympic record on her way to the gold medal.

    C'est la vie. That's just the way it goes sometimes.

    Schmitt more than made up for it, though, by later setting an Olympic record of her own and beating Muffat in the 200-meter freestyle.  

Cullen Jones: 50-Meter Freestyle

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    Cullen Jones didn't win a gold medal for any individual events at the 2012 Olympic Games, but his performance in the men's 50-meter "splash and dash" is worth heralding. 

    Jones came in second place behind France's Florent Manaudou, finishing only two-tenths of a second behind him. What makes his accomplishment all the sweeter is that Jones beat out Brazil's former gold-medal winner in this same event, Cesar Cielo. 

    Jones did earn a gold medal later on for his part in the men's 4x100 medley relay, and he earned another silver medal for his part in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay.

    All in all, Jones had a fantastic showing in London.

     

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