5 Captains for 2012 US Olympic Swim Team Revealed

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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Congrats to all but I count 5.


There’s 5 people listed though?


Woulda picked Shanteau over Hansen.


Why? Hansen’s been on numerous Gold Medal Medley relays (and world record relays), was a part of the 8th gold medal of phelps’ relay, has tremendous leadership skills, and is a team player. That’s not to say Shantau isn’t any of those things, but I think swimmers of all ages will relate to Hansen a little better than Shantau.


Shanteau doesn`t have the balls to be captain.


Do you have the balls to sign your real name to that, Troll??

Nancy Drew

He may not have the balls, but I’m sure Shanteau is not a dick like you are. Only a supreme dick would make fun of a cancer survivor. I don’t see you going to the Olympics either.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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