SwimSwam’s Top 50 Articles of 2015

2015 was one of the wildest years that we recall in swimming, especially for a year without and Olympic Games. The year was pockmarked with tragedy, beginning with a rash of suicides from American high school swimmers that shook the foundations of the way we all coach and interact with young athletes. In 2015 we also lost Olympic Champion Camille Muffat, who stunningly retired on top of the world after the 2012 Olympics and died in March in a helicopter accident while filming for a French reality television show.

But there was also plenty to celebrate in 2015, most notably the World Championships, where we got the last global data points ahead of this year’s Olympic Games. The daily recaps of the World Championships led to the 8 highest-trafficked days in SwimSwam history, and all 8 fell within our top 30 most read news articles of the year.

As much focus as there was on the World Championships, they were trumped by a swimmer who wasn’t at that meet, but instead raced in San Antonio, Texas at U.S. Nationals: Michael Phelps. Phelps posted world-leading times domestically while missing a meet he qualified for, but ultimately couldn’t race after a DUI suspension in 2014.

There was also plenty of controversy that led headlines in 2015. Some if it involved one swimmer’s attempt at innovation: Ryan Lochte experimented with a new underwater technique on which he did his dolphin kicks on his back in freestyle. His attempts to gain a few extra tenths, and FINA’s subsequent finger-wag, accounted for 3 of the top 12 articles in SwimSwam’s year.

On the more negative side of the controversy were two incidents that play into a broader narrative of how college students, and specifically college athletes, are expected to behave. One of those two was when Stanford freshman swimmer Brock Turner was arrested on allegations of sexual assault, and the other came when Western Kentucky University suspended their men’s and women’s swim teams for 5 years after repeated allegations of hazing. Both cases are still winding their ways through the legal system, and could rear as top 50 stories again in 2016.

The year ended with more highlights in the pool during a time where one expect most of the major names to swim through the traditional short course season and focus on a longer buildup to the Olympics. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri broke the World Record in the 1500 free at the European Championships in December; Katie Ledecky became the first woman ever under 9 minutes in the 1000 yard free – a barrier that is almost hard to compute; and Ryan Hoffer swam a 41.23 in the 100 yard freestyle that makes him the 4th-fastest swimmer in history at any age, and he’s only 17.

Below, we’ve posted our top 50 articles split into two categories: 25 news articles, along with 25 articles from the softer side, including motivational articles, educational articles, and the occasional laugh or two. These are the articles that gave our sport its voice in 2015 and guide the conversation into 2016.

Top 25 News Articles of 2015

Rank Title
1 Ryan Geheb Swims Through Gruesome Head Wound to Michigan All-State Honors
2 Four-Time Illinois State Champion, Louisville Commit, Jake Miller Passes Away
3 Ryan Lochte Takes DQ And Swims 50m Freestyle Entirely Underwater
4 He’s Baaaack! Michael Phelps Swims World’s Fastest 200 Fly
5 Sun Yang Involved In Physical Altercation During Warm-Up
6 Watch Michael Phelps’ 200 Fly at U.S. Nationals – Race Video
7 Olympic Gold Medalist Camille Muffat Killed in Helicopter Crash in Argentina
8 FINA rules Lochte’s new underwater technique illegal in IM races
9 Dartmouth Swimmer Drowns In Sarasota YMCA Pool
10 2015 FINA World Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap
11 VIDEO: Michael Phelps Swims 44.91 in Exhibition Swim at American Short Course Championships
12 Watch Ryan Lochte win 200 IM World Championships – Race Video
13 2015 FINA World Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap
14 Stanford Freshman Brock Turner Arrested After Sexual Assault Allegations
15 Phelps Rises to Challenge: Posts #1 World Time with 50.45 100 Fly
16 2015 FINA World Championships: Day 7 Finals Live Recap
17 2015 FINA World Championships: Day One Finals Live Recap
18 2015 FINA World Championships: Day 8 Finals Live Recap
19 Western Kentucky University Suspends Swimming & Diving Program For 5 Years In Light of Hazing Allegations
20 NCAA Approves 100 Yard IM, Synchronized Diving for College Competition
21 2015 FINA World Championships: Day Three Finals Live Recap
22 American Record For Katie Ledecky: First Sub-9:00 1000 Free In History
23 USA Swimming Announces 2015-16 National Team Roster
24 Watch Ryan Hoffer Obliterate 100 Free NAG Record With 41.23 (Race Video)
25 2015 FINA World Championships: Day Two Finals Live Recap

Top 25 Non-News Articles of 2015

Rank Title
1 12 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Swimmer
2 10 Things Swimmers Miss When They Stop Swimming
3 10 Telltale Signs You Have a Swimmer’s Body
4 Dear Swimming, The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
5 The Top 9 Swimming Pool Games: #3 Sharks and Minnows
6 10 Things Non-Swimmers Say to Swimmers
7 10 Signs You’re a Retired Swimmer
8 11 Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Competitive Swimmer
9 10 Things Non-Swimmers Will Never Understand About Swimming
10 17 Ways to Drive Your Swim Coach Nuts
11 10 Female Swimmer Problems
12 FINA Approves Major Changes; Breaststroke Officially Moves to Synchronized Swimming
13 15 Swimmer Stereotypes We Love and Hate
14 10 Power Quotes for Swimmers
15 12 Athletes Candidly Respond to “Do you think swimming is hard?”
16 A Letter to High School Swimmers who “Aren’t Good Enough” to Swim in College
17 10 Things Every Swimmer Does (But Would Never Admit to Doing)
18 35 Tips from 35 Swim Coaches
19 Why is a Swimming Mile only 1650 Yards?
20 How Much Food Do Swimmers Really Need To Eat?
21 10 Words That Have a Completely Different Meaning to Swimmers
22 WHO DID IT BETTER: Beyonce or Tufts Swimming?
23 10 Swim Coach Stereotypes – What Type Is Your Coach?
24 9 Signs You Have a Swimmer’s Body
25 9 Misconceptions About Swimming That Swimmers Hate

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8 years ago

From Jake Miller and Camille Muffat early last year to Tate Ramsden last week, we lost a lot of swimmers in 2015. I won’t pretend to comprehend all of the circumstances involved, but I believe at least some of these deaths could have been prevented.

Regardless, let’s remember those we lost in 2015, and to honor them, let’s create a swimming environment that is safer and more aware in 2016.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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