Michael Phelps Makes Fifth Olympic Team


Tonight, Michael Phelps swam 1:54.84 to win the 200 fly and secure a spot on his fifth Olympic team. 384 athletes in history have made five Olympic teams, a list including only 14 swimmers. Two of those swimmers, Derya Büyükuncu of Turkey and Lars Frolander of Sweden have participated in six consecutive Summer Olympic Games.

Phelps is the first American male swimmer to accomplish the feat, and matches the legendary Dara Torres, who also made 5 teams, as the only Americans to do so.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games will be Phelps’s fifth consecutive Games, the first being the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where the fifteen-year-old who had yet to become the greatest of all time finished fifth in the 200 fly (1:56.50).

Only one other swimmer, Dara Torres (’84, ’88, ’92, ’00, and ’08) came from the United States, the country with the most consistently competitive Olympic selection process.

Pre-2016 swimmers with appearances at five or more Olympics:

  • Derya Büyükuncu (Turkey): 6 Olympics
  • Lars Frolander (Sweden): 6 Olympics
  • Therese Alshammar (Sweden): Will be competing in her 6th Olympics
  • Mark Foster (Great Britain): 5 Olympics
  • João Gonçalves Filho (Brazil): 5 Olympics
  • Mette Jacobsen (Denmark): 5 Olympics
  • Martina Moravcova (Slovakia): 5 Olympics
  • Maria Palaez (Spain): 5 Olympics
  • Carl Probert (Fiji): 5 Olympics
  • Paul Radmilovic (Great Britain): 5 Olympics
  • Rogerio Romero (Brazil): 5 Olympics
  • Alison Sheppard (Great Britain): 5 Olympics
  • Dara Torres (United States): 5 Olympics
  • Nina Zhivanevskaya (Russia/Spain): 5 Olympics


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6 years ago

Pretty sure the Australian selection process is consistently competitive too. We just have about 1/10 of the US population .

6 years ago

It would about this time that Bobo would say that Phelps hasn’t impressed him yet because Lars Frolander went to 6 Olympics.

6 years ago

Really crappy of NBC to fail to introduce the rest of the finalists, and then to fail to interview Shields, too, post-race. I understand that Phelps’ achievement was historic, but he’s not the only swimmer who accomplished something special today.

Reply to  W3T
6 years ago

Technically shields has not made the team yet.

Reply to  Observer
6 years ago

After every other final they have interviewed the top two

Reply to  W3T
6 years ago

Saw Shields’ post-race interview with SwimSwam. He said what drove him the last 50 was anger at all the doubters, including and starting (his comments) with the media. Maybe he wanted nothing to do with an NBC interview.

Richard Stevens
6 years ago

CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL!! 🙂 It’s been SOME journey!! A champion competitor with (it transpires, very human flaws) yet still the character to show what love and passion can truly reach out for and achieve.

GO in RIO!! CSEH, CHAD & CO will know….history’s record books prepare to dance to someone’s tune….we can’t wait!!:)

sandra dial
6 years ago

geoge bovell ?

Victor Davis Was King
6 years ago

The GOAT abides.

6 years ago

Therese Alshammar of Sweden qualified for her 6th Olympics earlier this summer. She’s missing from the list entirely…

Lazy Observer
6 years ago

1:54.84 though, right?

Reply to  Lazy Observer
6 years ago

Correct. The article posted the wrong time. You have it right. Good catch.

Stevie P
Reply to  Lazy Observer
6 years ago


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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