Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your American Swimming Sprinters?

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

Pencils out! Cell phones away! It’s quiz time! And no Googling answers! This test will make up 42.5% of your final mark.

1. This 2008 National High School swimmer of the year anchored the silver medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay last year at Worlds. Although disappointed, he bounced back hard in his individual event, swimming a 47.82 to set a new personal best time and claim a second silver medal.

a. Anthony Ervin

b. Jimmy Feigen

c. Tom Dolan

d. Ricky Berens

2. This athlete has been again making news recently – although not of the swimming variety – and is one of the most successful female American sprinters of all time, winning six Olympic golds, including two individual golds and two relay golds in 1996. She was known for her intimidation tactics before races which included spitting into her competitor’s lane.

a. Amy Van Dyken

b. Jenny Thompson

c. Dara Torres

d. Misty Hyman

3. Also known for his pre-race antics, which included shadow boxing and flexing, this sprinter would become a spokesman and ambassador for diabetes awareness, while also churning his way to 10 Olympic medals over three different Games. Sprinting came naturally to this swimmer, as his father was also a three-time Olympian.

a. Anthony Ervin

b. Jason Lezak

c. Matt Biondi

d. Gary Hall Jr.

4. A member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, this swimmer broke the world record in the 50m freestyle six different times over a career that also saw him win 7 Olympic medals, including 5 golds.

a. Rowdy Gaines

b. Tom Jager

c. Matt Biondi

d. Jon Olson

5. Matt Biondi was designated this nickname in the run up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics:

a. The Berkeley Cruise Missile

b. The California Condor

c. U.S.S. Matthias Biondi

d. Speedy McGee

6. This female sprinter has competed under the banners of the Bolles School, Auburn University, and most recently with David Marsh at SwimMAC. She currently holds the 8th fastest time in the world for the 50m freestyle.

a. Missy Franklin

b. Madison Kennedy

c. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace

d. Amanda Weir

7. With his career spanning four Olympics what is perhaps most impressive is that he trained completely on his own during his last few years of swimming, including over his last two Olympic Games performances.

a. Anthony Ervin

b. Gary Hall Jr.

c. Jason Lezak

d. Don Schollander

8. This 3-time Olympian has kept herself busy outside of the pool, making appearances on Iron Chef America, Dancing with the Stars, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

a. Natalie Coughlin.

b. Dara Torres

c. Dana Vollmer

d. Jessica Hardy

9. Always calm and poised, this Olympic vet crowd sourced his World Cup meet circuit in 2012 by offering stickers, custom workouts, and even private swimming lessons.

a. Jimmy Feigen

b. Nathan Adrian

c. Anthony Ervin

d. Garrett Weber-Gale

10. This up-and-comer is part of a 1-2 sprint freestyle punch that will be tearing up the NCAA’s next year for the Stanford Cardinal. She also posted the fastest ever 50m freestyle for 17-18 year olds by swimming a 21.70 earlier this spring.

a. Janet Hu

b. Simone Manuel

c. Kylie Stewart

d. Cheyenne Coffman

Answers: 1. b., 2. a., 3. d., 4. b., 5. b., 6. c., 7. c., 8. A., 9. c., 10. b.

How Many Did You Get Right?

11+: Lies!

10: Well played.

6-9: Got room for improvement.

1-5: Time to bone up on your sprint history.

0: You are clearly a distance swimmer.

About YourSwimBook

YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more. Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.

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6 years ago

Come on, I got 9 out of 10 right and I am not even American …

Steve Nolan
Reply to  luigi
6 years ago

Damn, so did I. But, to be fair, I wasn’t very alive for the Jager/Biondi time period.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

Meaning you weren’t born yet or you weren’t much interested? 😀

6 years ago

Coughlin is a 3 time Olympian not 4!

DC Guy
6 years ago

Great quiz. I beg to differ on question #7. The question about who was the swimmer who swam “completely on his own during his last few years of swimming and including over his last two Olympic Games performances”, and the answer was Jason Lezak. I think that his last two Olymics were 2008 & 2012. He seemed to be attached to Rose Bowl Aquatics during much of that time as he is listed as holding 7 team records for Rose Bowl from December 2007 through December of 2010. Perhaps he went unattached or worked out on his own in 2011 as he approached the 2012 games.

Reply to  DC Guy
6 years ago

while he is attached, its been documented and he will say that he trained on his own. Bud Greenspans 2008 Olympic documentary is REALLY good go watch that.

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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