Fabien Gilot is a sprint freestyle specialist born in Denain, France. Born Apr. 27, 1984 Gilot has been successful in the swimming realm for a long time, competing in both the pre-textile and post-textile suit eras. He has been a member of France’s Olympic team in 2008, 2012 and 2016 winning two golds and a silver medal.
Gilot is a two-time Olympic medalist, and has a tattoo of the Olympic rings on his underarm. He has a more personal tattoo that was on full display at the 2012 London Olympics, written in Hebrew and translated as, “I am nothing without them.” The tattoo is a tribute to his late grandfather figure, Max Goldschmidt, who was an Auschwitz survivor. Gilot’s moving tribute caught media attention after his gold-medal win in the 400m freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics.
Gilot won his first major medal at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona. Along with his French teammates, Gilot won bronze as a member of the 400m freestyle relay. The following year he won another bronze medal in the same event at the European Championships in Madrid, and same at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
2008 Beijing Olympics
2008 was a big year for Gilot. He won his first gold medal at the European Championships, swimming on the 200m freestyle relay. Gilot then qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning an Olympic gold medal in the 400m freestyle relay.
In 2010 the same relay brought him two golds at the European Championships and the Short Course World Championships. He won a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle at the European Championships, and a silver medal at the Short Course World Championships in the 100m freestyle.
2011 FINA World Championships
Never hitting a dull point in his career, 2011 was another successful year for Gilot. He brought home two silver medals from the World Championships in Shanghai in the 400m freestyle relay and 800m freestyle relay.
He then went on to win his second Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle relay at the 2012 London Olympics.
At the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Gilot became a double World Champion as a member of France’s 4×100 meter freestyle and medley relays. In the freestyle relay, Gilot had a stunning third leg for France. His 46.90 split was the fastest of all swimmers. He was joined by Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou and Jeremy Stravius to take gold in 3:11.18 and beat out USA and Russia. In the medley relay, he held off Australia on the final leg to take gold in 3:31.51.
In 2014 Gilot was successful at the European Championships and the Short Course World Championships. He won two gold medals and two silvers, including an individual silver in the 100m freestyle. In 2015 he’s competed at the French Championships and mostly local competitions, but he’s also added in some butterfly races to the mix.
2015 FINA World Championships
France successfully defended it’s world championship 4×100 meter freestyle title in Kazan. This time, Gilot was joined by Florent Manaudou, Jeremy Stravius and Mehdy Metella. Gilot again swam the third leg, posting France’s fastest split of 47.08. The team combined in 3:10. 74 to take gold. In the 4×100 meter medley relay, Gilot swam the freestyle leg, finishing third for France in 3:30.50.
2016 Rio Olympics
In Rio, Gilot and his 2015 world champion teammates joined together again in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. France took the silver behind USA in 3:10.53.