The post-Olympic year, as 2017 was, is always an interesting year. It’s a reset of sorts, where the roar of the Olympic games becomes a building murmur. There’s still a World Championship meet, which dominated the year’s traffic, but there were lots of new faces that emerged at other meets as well. Early in the Olympic cycle, the development and pops can be less predictable.
World Records were broken in 19 events in 2017, and only 9 of those were done at the World Championships. The ledger opened in January, when Ippei Watanabe broke the 200 breaststroke World Record for men, and closed in the last 10 days of the year when Kliment Kolesnikov got the 100 back in short course meters.
A review of the most popular SwimSwam Articles of 2017 reflect the dominance of World Championships. 9 of the 12 most read articles on SwimSwam in 2017 were either the schedule for, or the 8 finals recaps of, the 2017 World Championships.
Tangential to that was Jared Anderson’s editorial about the so-called “Lochte Rule,” where swimmers were being disqualified in medley events (individual and relay) for not quite being on their stomach on the freestyle leg. This rule was rarely enforced before Lochte decided to swim a great distance underwater on his back during the freestyle leg of the IM races at the 2015 World Championships. FINA has since softened the rule, but not before it cost Ella Eastin a spot on the U.S. team for the World Championships.
Other topics that people were interested in in 2017 included high school recruiting. As swimmers commit earlier-and-earlier, people are more-and-more interested in who the top swimmers are and where they’re going. This year was the highest they’ve ever rated.
The most popular coaching change was Augie Busch’s hiring at Arizona (which included both high views, and comments), though David Marsh’s departure from SwimMAC also caught attention.
There were also emotional stories in 2017 that drew the attention of the community. Our most-read article was Missy Franklin’s outpouring at the LEAD Sports Summit in Austin about her battle with depression; while the passing of one of the country’s top club coaches Jason Turcotte drew the community to share their memories and condolences.
The most-watched race video in 2017 wasn’t even of a World Record – it was Pavel Sankovich swimming an entire 50 free underwater. Lily King’s World-Record-Setting 100 breaststroke at Worlds was next.
And lest we think that the Olympics are confined to once every 4 years – the 37th most-read SwimSwam article of 2017…was the roster reveal for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Go figure.
Below, check out the 50 most-read articles of 2017. Below that, we’ve split them out roughly into 3 categories: the most-read news articles, the most-read training/lifestyle articles, and the most-read meet recaps.