Now & Then: Your Favorite Swimmers’ Evolution In Photos

With elite swimmers now remaining in the sport well into their late 20’s, we as fans get to see the evolution of our favorite aquatic stars unfold, both in the achievement sense, but also in simply the physical sense. Watching athletes such as American Caeleb Dressel and Australian Cate Campbell emerge from their beginnings as talented junior swimmers to now-international mega athletes enables us to connect with them and follow along as their careers flourish over the years.

Reminisce on the early days of several of the world’s most notable swimmers by taking in photos from then versus now as a reminder of the truly glorious era of swimming in which we’re lucky to be.

Caeleb Dressel, 2013 US World Championship Trials (Tim Binning, The Swim Pictures)


Caeleb Dressel, August 2018 (photo: Mike Lewis)


Nathan Adrian, 2012 (Tim Binning, The Swim Pictures)


Nathan Adrian, August 2018  (photo: Mike Lewis)


Katie Ledecky, 2012 (photo: Mike Lewis)


Katie Ledecky, September 2018 (photo: Mike Lewis)


Simone Manuel, 2013 (Tim Binning, The Swim Pictures)


Simone Manuel, September 2018 (photo: Mike Lewis)


Sarah Sjostrom, 2013 (Victor Puig)


Sarah Sjostrom, 2018 ( Fabio Cetti – ics Media s.r.l.


Sun Yang, 2013 (Peter Sukenik)


Sun Yang, 2017 (Peter Sukenik)


Cate Campbell, 2013 (Victor Puig)


Cate Campbell, August 2018, (photo: Mike Lewis)


Ryan Murphy, Joseph Schooling, Santo Condorelli, Josh Booth, 2012 (Bolles School)


Ryan Murphy, August 2018 (photo: Jack Spitser)


Santo Condorelli, June 2018 (Giusy Cisale – SwimSwam)


Joseph Schooling, 2018 (Speedo)

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Years of Plain Suck

My favorite Caleb photos were the ones in which he’d taken a Sharpie and written a Biblical text on his face. It showed everyone he was truly inspired! Maybe Caleb will adopt that retro look for 2019 Worlds.

Years of Plain Suck

Caeleb sporting an “Isaiah” quote in 2015 SwimSwam video!


For Nathan Adrian and older athletes, you definitely need to bring back a picture from college days.


Best throwback Nathan Adrian pic:
comment image

In case people forgot he was just a skinny kid once, too.


Don’t forget when he was on Mythbusters…

Right Dude Here

Swimming in syrup with an original 08 LZR no less. What a legend.

Becky D

I’m stunned by the triceps in the Aug 2018 pic.


I know Bolles can draw from the whole world, but it’s still ridiculous to think about a high school relay that contains Murphy, Schooling, and Condorelli (no offense to Josh Booth!). Oh, and there was a guy on the Bolles club team who went to public high school who could have made a good 4th…


Yeah, he could have helped them out just a bit.


Yes, pretty awesome relay, which puts into perspective just how impressive it was that last year, 4 boys from a public high school in Pittsburgh – all home grown talent – smashed that legendary record. Three of the members were underclassmen.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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