SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the top swimmer of the past decade:
Question: Who was the #1 swimmer of the 2010s as a whole?
In our end-of-decade coverage, we named Phelps the top swimmer of the decade, thanks to his 12 Olympic medals during that decade and his starring roles in both 2010s Olympics: London 2012 and Rio 2016. However, voters clearly favored Ledecky, who dominated the world distance freestyles from 2012 onwards.
Ledecky only won six Olympic medals in the 2010s compared to Phelps’ dozen, but some of that is because she was just 15 years old during a 2012 Olympics where she won the 800 free in a massive upset. Ledecky dominated world record books this decade, setting and resetting the 800 and 1500 free records, and she also won World titles in the 200 free, 400 free and 4×200 and 4×100 free relays.
The dark horse in this poll was Katinka Hosszu, who doesn’t have quite the same Olympic resume (four medals, all at the 2016 Games), but dominated at so many levels in the 2010s. Hosszu was a perennial powerhouse on the World Cup series. She won 14 World Championships medals in long course and 27 World Championships medals in short course over the decade, not to mention an absurd 47 European Championships medals between short course and long course, all between 2010 and 2019.
3.2% of fans picked the field compared to the top three. The comments on our top 20 swimmers of the decade post mostly focused on Caeleb Dressel, who definitely surged to the top of the World late in the decade, but who didn’t win an individual Olympic or World Champs medal until 2017. Other top contenders: Ryan Lochte, Adam Peaty, Missy Franklin and Sarah Sjostrom.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters which stroke changes the most from long course swimming to short course swimming:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner