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Illustrated History of Olympic Swimming


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Olympic Swimming, 1992 - 1996
Tom Jager, USA, Olympic Sprint Swimmer, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Tom Jager, USA, Olympic Sprint Swimmer, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images
1992 - Barcelona hosted the games which featured the Unified team (made up of 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics). On the men's side, the US was strong but not overwhelming, as the US only scored 2 out of 15 medals in the individual freestyle events (silver by Biondi and bronze by Jager in the 50 free). Hungary's Tamás Darnyi repeated his 1988 gold medals in the 200 and 400 IM's; Alexander Popov won gold in the 50 and 100 free. The women saw the German team now as one, with much less power. China began to rise, and the doping rumors were heard again. The women's star was Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi, taking gold in both backs and the 400 IM.

1996 - Atlanta was the first time that the event list reached 32. The USA men's and women's teams swept all 6 relays on their way to 13 gold, 11 silver, and 2 bronze medals and the top of the medal list, followed by Australia and Germany with 12 medals each. Ireland's Michelle Smith won three gold medals and a bronze, but was later thought to be doing things the same way as the East German women had. Penelope Heyns (South Africa) won two individual golds (100/200 breast) as did the USA's Amy Van Dyken (50 free/100 fly - she also won two relay gold medals for a total of 4). Alexander Popov (Russia) won the 50/100 free double again, New Zealand's Danyon Loader won the 200/400 free, and Kieren Perkins (Australia) took the 1500 (the only USA men's individual freestyle medals were silver by Gary Hall Jr. in the 50/100 free - he also won two more on relays).

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