Ervin Becomes Oldest U.S. Male Individual Olympic Swimmer Since 1904


Tonight, with his second-place finish in the 50 free, 35-year-old Anthony Ervin became the oldest American male swimmer to make the Olympics in an individual event since 1904.

Ervin finished tonight’s event just .01 behind Nathan Adrian, coming into the wall with 21.52.

This will mark Ervin’s third Olympics. He won Olympic gold in the 50 free and Olympic silver in the 400 freestyle relay at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He finished fifth at the 2012 London Olympics in the 50 free.

That time ranks him fifth-fastest in the world this year.

2015-2016 LCM Men 50 Free

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His time tonight was also only a tenth of a second off his all-time best, a 21.42 semifinal swim from the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. That swim makes him the 14th-fastest man in history. He went on to win the silver medal in that event.

Ervin also made the 2016 Rio team as a member of the 400 free relay, after finishing fourth in the 100 free on Thursday night with 48.54.

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Anthony Shelton
7 years ago

It’s cool to have a uncle that’s a great man and well known I can see many have had the opportunity to meet him as for me I have not yet met my uncle Anthony Ervin I hear so much about him wish I could do what he does sad I’m not a good swimmer lol but hey I’m proud of my uncle he’s a cool guy I’m just glad he’s my uncle that I hope to meet some day

Anthony Shelton
7 years ago

My uncle

7 years ago

What was most impressive about his 100m swim was his interview after, where he talked about giving swim lessons, then those swimmers came to watch him at the next Trials, now those same swimmers are swimming in the Trials. He was so proud! In a moment that could have been all about him, all he could think about was his impact on those kids! Says a lot about his character, and what a positive impact on the sport!

Ion A. Beza
7 years ago

I read ‘Chasing Water’ wrote in 2016 by Anthony Ervin and Constanine Markides.
In it Ervin details how he swims the 50, how he doesn’t train much and in the 100 he dies, how he was lost in school at U.C. Berkeley.
(note: I schooled in France, and one doesn’t see the nonsense school U.C. Berkeley -or for that matter nonsense schools Harvard, Stanford, etc.- in the serious to education France)
In the book, Ervin describes his own technique in the 50 -as opposed to the technique of distance swimmers he describes and that I practice myself-, and in the book, his former coach at Cal., Mike Bottom, describes Ervin’s 50 technique.
Bottom says that Ervin… Read more »

7 years ago

I was a non-believer at first. But this is pretty bad-ass for age 35. Well done!

Irish Ringer
7 years ago

I have to admit that until Ervin recently dropped a 21 high I didn’t believe he had a chance. Both of his races exceeded my expectations and hope he keeps it rolling in Rio.

tea rex
7 years ago

Wasn’t Jason Lezak 36 when he made the relay team in 2012?

tea rex
Reply to  tea rex
7 years ago

Nevermind, just realized the headline said “Individual” swimmer.

7 years ago

It’s interesting that at trials in 2012 and 2016 he finished 0.01 behind the first place finisher

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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