United States of America
Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Matt Grevers, Tyler Clary, Nathan Adrian, Allison Schmitt, Katie Ledecky, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer
31 – 16 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze
In London the Americans were on top of the medals standings with 31 total medals (16 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze) followed by China who collected a total of 10 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze).
There were a total of nine World Records and 25 Olympic Records broken in London with the Americans breaking nine Olympic Records and five World Records. The next best were the Chinese who broke six Olympic Records and two World Records.
In London the Americans did not only outshine their competition, but they made many improvements on their own results compared to both the 2011 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics.
At the Olympics the Americans, with 31 medals (16 gold, 9 silver and 6 bronze) improved their medal standings from the 2011 World Championships (29 – 16 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze) and the 2008 Olympics (31 – 12 gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze).
They also increased the gap between themselves and their competition. At the 2011 World Championships Americans were followed by the Chinese who had 12 medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 7 bronze) and at the 2008 Olympic Games the Aussie sat in second with a total medal count of 20 (6 gold, 6 silver and 8 bronze).
In London the Americans also showed an improvement in the team’s depth with 16 different athletes winning individual medals compared to 11 at the World Championships and 13 in at the Olympics in 2008.
Change in Leadership
Frank Busch took over the National Team Director role in May of 2011. Busch who had incredible success during his 22 years at the University of Arizona looked to be the perfect fit, he was a well respected leader within the American swimming community and he had incredible success at the national and international levels having coached his Wildcat teams to NCAA titles, awarded NCAA Coach of the Year six times, coached multiple Olympic medalists and been on countless National Team staffs.
Since taking over the position he has proven to be the right man for the job.
Coming into the job he felt his main role going into the 2012 London Olympics was to support the coaches and to keep the system that was in place moving forward, “The bricks are in place for London,” Busch told Bonnie Ford in an interview with ESPN.
“The swim coaches in this country are some of the most competitive people you’ll ever come across. They’re all about putting their athletes on the Olympic team, winning medals, setting world and Olympic records. Not a lot needs to be said by me to stir up competitive juices in the American coaching community. Probably my biggest job is to make sure that I give them the avenues they need to be as successful as possible with their athletes.”
Even though the foundation for success in London was in place when he took over Busch deserves an incredible amount of credit for his leadership in the 18 months leading into the games where the Americans enjoyed their largest margin of victory at an Olympic Games in 18 years.