30th Anniversary Of Top Gun Is Our Excuse To Give Swimmers Nicknames

For anyone that was alive and old enough to not have been diapers during the year 1986 you most likely remember a little movie entitled ‘Top Gun’. Yes, it’s the movie that launched Tom Cruise into mega stardom and made flying fighter jets at mach speeds even that much cooler.


Also memorable from the movie were the myriad of ‘call signs’ or nicknames given to the pilot characters within the film.  We heard names like ‘Iceman’, ‘Goose’, ‘Cougar’ and ‘Maverick’, which are now forever-linked to the movie.

What does this have to do with swimming? Flash forward to today and we’ve hit the 30th anniversary of the iconic film. In my swim nerdy mind, this pop culture milestone made me start thinking of what call signs American swimmers would have if such a naming convention existed in our sport.

Here’s what I came up with, for some notable U.S. swimmers, but leave your own creations in the comments.
Michael Phelps – GOAT

Ryan LochteIce, Ice Baby

Nathan Adrian – Lady Killer

Anthony Ervin – Tat Man

Josh Schneider – Hulk

Missy Franklin – Sunshine

Katie Ledecky – Lane Wrecker

Dana Vollmer – Mission Momma

Madison KennedyTailwind

Tyler ClaryTrack Daddy

Natalie Coughlin – Miss Zen

Haley Anderson – Golden Mermaid

Eugene GodsoePianoman

Allison Schmitt – The BFF

Matt Grevers – Jumbo Jet

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5 years ago

I played the theme song and Danger Zone the other day…no one knew they were from Top Gun…I was at first shocked…then realized that yes, Top Gun is 30 years old….The good news is that Top Gun 2 is on the way…Bruckheimer, Cruise, Kilmer are all signed on…need to introduce a new generation to the movie.

I can’t decide which is better –



Joel Lin
Reply to  @JakeShell
5 years ago

It’s all funny until someone pulls their Member’s Only jacket out of the closet.

Silent but Violent
5 years ago

Laszlo Cseh – Humpty Dumpty

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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