5 Captains for 2012 US Olympic Swim Team Revealed

  45 Braden Keith | July 11th, 2012 | London 2012 Olympics, National, News

Brendan HansenPeter VanderkaayRebecca Soni, Jason Lezak and Natalie Coughlin have been selected as the five Team USA co-captains headed into the London Olympics. The decision was announced on Wednesday night in Knoxville, Tennessee where the Olympic team is gathered for their pre-European training camp.

Hansen, Vanderkaay, and Coughlin are all headed for their third Olympic appearances, and Soni, one of the United States’ strongest picks for gold, is going into her 2nd.

Even squads like the Olympic Team, together for just a few weeks these captains play vital roles. Each member of the team is coming from a situation where they are a top-dog, and somehow in just a month they must gel together into a cohesive unit. With all of the pre-Olympic tension, captains are often responsible for keeping the team relaxed and quelling any fires that might smolder between athletes who must simultaneously support each other and compete against each other if they hope to bring home the ultimate Olympic glory.

This Olympic captains lineup is demonstration that more goes into being a captain than simply winning the most medals or being entered in the most events. Coughlin and Lezak, for example, will swim only a single race each (the 400 free relay), but are two of the most respected in the sport today. Vanderkaay similarly has only one entry for the Olympics, for now, but is one of the true gentlemen in the sport of swimming. He’ll swim the 400 free, unless the U.S. coaches choose to put him on the 4×200 free relay – though he didn’t even final in the event at Trials.

Hansen will be swimming the 100 breaststroke and the 400 medley relay as his entries, leaving Soni as the only of the five captains headed into the meet as a favorite to win a gold medal – she could win 3, in the 100 breast, the 200 breast, and 400 medley relay.

But these five swimmers have near-unanimous respect in the team. They represent every region of the country, and almost all of the top American programs. They’ve been on a number of teams, have had unprecedented success and even the glorious ceremony of the Olympics is old-hat to them by now.

All-in-all, it’s hard to argue with any of these choices. Onward to London.

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45 Comments on "5 Captains for 2012 US Olympic Swim Team Revealed"

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Cute consolation prize for Vanderlaay, Lezak, and Coughlin. It`s not like they will have much else to do in London besides “playing captain.”


They won’t be “playing” captain, they ARE the captains. Are you bitter because you never made an Olympic team and won Olympic golds like they did? Or is it just because you were never respected enough to be captain of anything??


I was involved in the making of the original Captain Planet in the 90s, fool. And everyone knows that being the captain of what is largely an individual sport is no great distinction. The top swimmers will look for advice from their coaches, not some guy who will need to go all-out in the 400m prelims just to make it to the next round.

Maybe Coughlin`s role as captain will consist of preparing baked goods for the team so they don`t get food poisoning from the British cuisine.

Nigel Tufnel

Echos Myron – Bob Pollard is embarrassed by your comments herein. Troll indeed: be positive and make constructive comments especially if using a GbV reference.


Nice try, bitter guy. Even your lame jokes can’t hide your envy and cluelessness.

They picked team people to be captains…some of the above mentioned are too selfish to be captain…i.e. Phelps

I don’t remember Phelps ever saying he wanted to be team captain. His leadership is shown by what he does in his races!

Im surprised about Hansen actually…Yes he’s been there before, but he seems to me a little too full of himself, i.e., a few too many , “i’m proud of MYSELF” comments. I would’ve liked Grevers in his spot.


Probably why Lochte isnt captain as well. He is a nice guy though


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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