The Most Read SwimSwam Articles of 2022

2022 was a roller coaster of a year.

That’s safe to say both in swimming – and outside of it.

While a utopian outcome would be the world of sport isolated from the chaos of the world around it, that is, unfortunately, not the reality. And often, for better or worse, the outside world bleeds, heavily, into the pool.

There were four overarching stories that dominated swimming in 2022, and they were all controversial. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ensuing war crimes, resulting in protests and bans from the pool, were among the topics that SwimSwam readers were most interested in for 2022.

From an interview with a Ukrainian coach buried under the rubble of a building for two hours after a Russia missile strike, to bans on Russian athletes, to protests by two high-profile Europeans, Ruta Meilutyte and Ukrainian-Turk Viktoria Gunes) were among the most-read SwimSwam articles this year.

One of the top 50 most-read SwimSwam articles of 2022 was Belarusian Olympic medalist Aliaksandra Herasimenia being sentenced to 12 years in prison this week, in absentia, over her protests against the Belarusian government. While those protests began before Belarus aided Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, they are part of that same ecosystem. If it weren’t for the timing near the end of the year, that article almost surely would have wound up in the top 20.

American Caeleb Dressel left the World Championships this summer early and has not returned to competition since. His initial withdrawal, and ongoing curiosity about what the future holds for the world’s dominant swimmer, have been another major storyline for swimfans this year.

Allegations of abuse against highly-successful American athletes and coaches also caught a lot of attention. Cal women’s swimming & diving head coach and 2012 US Olympic Women’s Team head coach Teri McKeever is on a leave of absence after her athletes alleged abuse; Paralympic gold medalist Robert Griswold is currently under sanction by the US Center for Safesport over allegations that he physically, emotionally, and sexually abused his teammates, and US National Teamer Trenton Julian is also currently under investigation for unknown Safesport violations.

While the furor has mostly subsided inside of swimming circles (though it continues to range on in the political world more broadly), 2022 also saw the coming-to-a-head of transgender woman Lia Thomas racing for Penn at the NCAA Championship meet. Thomas won the 500 free at that meet amid organized protests from non-swimming people.

Stories about Thomas’ results, as well as the reactions of her peers to those results, dominated the early news cycle in 2022.

The attention that Thomas drew resulted in a noticeable shift: for the first time in more than a decade of SwimSwam, the recaps of the Women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships drew more views than the Men’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. The men’s meet, overall, still drew more total views, but the peaks from the top articles of the women’s meet were overall higher than the men’s meet (including recaps).

But we can’t really point to Thomas’ presence as the sole evidence for that shift, either. For example, this year, for the first time, the girls’ high school class of 2023 rankings drew more eyeballs than the boys’ class did.

Swimming continues to be, arguably, the most gender-equitable sport in the world.

COVID stories subsided a bit, though not entirely – as lots of international medal contenders (Drew Kibler, Lilly King, Ariarne Titmus, and Duncan Scott) all had their competitive results directly impacted by cases of the virus that has caused almost 7 million deaths globally in almost three years since the pandemic began. Those stories still drew a lot of interest, even as most of the world normalized into a more endemic mindset.

There was plenty of positive and excitement in the top stories too. People were excited about the time standards for the 2024 US Olympic Trials being announced. People were really excited about Alex and Gretchen Walsh releasing their own swimsuit line – one of three advertisements that made the top 100 most-read SwimSwam articles this year.

And lest you think that the United States has the market cornered on highly-zealous age group parents: two Italian-language articles about Italy’s national youth championships also made the top 75 non-recaps.

Interestingly, of the 25 World Records that were broken in 2022, the only swim to crack the top 75 non-recap articles was David Popovici, the Romanian teenager, in the men’s 100-meter free. That was a legendary record in one of history’s favorite swimming events, and Popovici did it at only 17-years old.

This once again shows that it’s the narrative that drives the interest in sports. There were a lot of great World Records broken in 2022 by wide margins, but none of them captured the imaginations of swimfans quite the way that Popovici’s did.

Which Meets Mattered Most?

In the most-unusual of years, with an international championship coming up seemingly every week as the world’s sporting organizations tried to catch up on what was missed during COVID, you might wonder which meets SwimSwam readers cared about most.

The list isn’t really that surprising if you were to think about it hard enough. The Commonwealth Games being as high as they are is mostly a function of the fact that the best swimmers from those meets come mostly from English-speaking countries – the language we use most here at SwimSwam.

The ranking of Duel in the Pool, though, probably is worth some analysis, as organizers might have hit on a formula that is working. At a minimum, it shows that people are still hungry for the Duel in the Pool, and if that meet could be tightened up and perfected a bit, it could once again become a jewel of the scene.

Pecking Order:

  • World Aquatics Championships (long course)
  • Women’s NCAA Division I Championships
  • Commonwealth Games
  • US World Championship Trials
  • Men’s NCAA Division I Championships
  • Duel in the Pool
  • World Short Course Swimming Championships (25m)
  • European Championships
  • World Junior Championships
  • European Junior Championships

75 Most-Read SwimSwam Articles of 2022 (Non-Recaps)

Rank Article Link
1 Russian Swimmers Lash Out After Viktoria Gunes Posts Provacative Photo on Instagram
2 Cal Swimmers Walk Out of Practice on Wednesday After McKeever Reads a Statement
3 Kyle Chalmers Threatens to Quit Swimming Over Relationship Questions
4 SOURCE: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson In Talks to Join SEC
5 Is Selling Sunset’s New Realtor Emma Hernan an Olympic Swimmer?
6 GoFundMe Created for Former US National Teamer Diagnosed with State IV Cancer
7 Can Monkeypox Virus Be Spread in Swimming Pools and Gyms
8 Erica Sullivan Says There Was No Podium Protest After 500 Freestyle at NCAAs
9 Penn’s LIa Thomas Opens Up on Journey, Transition to Women’s Swimming (2021)
10 Alex and Gretchen Walsh Make History With Sporti Swim Collaboration
11 Canadian Swimmer Mary-Sophie Harvey Says She Was Drugged at World Championships
12 Leon Marchand Swims World-Leading 4:10.38 400 IM, But Gets DQ’ed For Lochte Rule
13 How and When to Watch Streaming for the 2022 World Aquatics Championships
14 Goodnight Swimming – A Retirement Letter to the Sport
15 Ryan Lochte Auctioning Off 3 Bronze and 3 Silver Olympic Medals
16 Northern Iowa Swimmer Lily Ernst Dies Suddenly at Age 20
17 NCAA Publishes Division I 2021-2022 National Championship Standards
18 USA Swimming Announces 2022 Winter Juniors Cuts
19 Caeleb Dressel Withdraws from the World Championships Due to Medical Reasons
20 Numerous Cal Swimmers Accuse Coach Teri McKeever of Verbal Abuse for Decades
21 Tempi Limite Per Lammissione ai Campionati Assolouti e Criteria Giovanili
22 Campionato Italiano di Categoria Estivo Tempi Limite e Termini
23 Olympic Silver Medalist Emma Weyant Enters Transfer POrtal
24 Contrasting Day for Olympic Medalists at FINA Women’s Water Polo European Qualifiers
25 Former Brown Swimmer Jameson McMullen, 22, Dies
26 Lawsuit Filed Against Robert Griswold, Accused of Raping Paralympic Teammate
27 Summer McIntosh and Lara Van Niekerk are Flying in Funkita Swimwear
28 Mixed Reactions from Spectators as Lia Thomas Wins the 500 Freestyle
29 Luca Urlando Has to be Helped Out of the Pool After Stopping During the 100 IM
30 Criteria Nazionali Giovanili – Start List Diretta Streaming e Link Utili
31 Saint Louis University Swimmer Sean North Dies at 20 Years Old
32 How to Watch Swimming at the 2022 US International Team Trials
33 F**king Terrible, My Body is Done Inside: Caeleb Dressel’s Olympic JOurnal
34 High School Coach Fired Over Inappropriate Text Messages
35 Former Cal Swimmer Anna Kalandadze Details McKeever Abuse That Led to Transfer
36 Group of Penn Swimmers Ask UPenn, Ivy League to Abide by New Trangender Policy
37 David Popovici Goes 46.86, Breaks Cielo’s 13 Year Old 100 Free World Record
38 Caeleb Dressel Scratches Men’s 100 Free Semis at 2022 World Championships
39 2022 Commonwealth Games Full Results Report, Final Medals Table
40 USA Swimming Announces 2024 Olympic Qualifying Standards
41 NCAA Won’t Follow USA Swimming Transgender Policy for 2022 Championships
42 Steve Jungbluth Out as Associate Head Coach at Florida After 12 Years With Gators
43 17th Place Finisher in 500 Free Reka Gyorgy Pens Letter to NCAA on Transgender Rules
44 Caeleb Dressel Hasn’t Swum Since Leaving Worlds Early
45 World Record Holder Regan Smith to Leave Stanford, Turn Pro, Join Bob Bowman
46 Katie Ledecky Beats Zane Grothe at Florida-Auburn Dual
47 Michael Phelps Discusses Djokovic, COVID, and LIa Thomas in a CNN Interview
48 Belarusian Olympic Medalist Herasimenia Sentenced to 12 Year Prison Term in Absentia
49 Paralympic Champion Robert Griswold Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teammate With Intellectual Disability
50 Arrest Warrant Issued for 6 Time Turkish Olympic Swimmer Over Tweets
51 Jeremy Kipp Resigns as Head Coach of USC Swimming & Diving
52 One of Texas’ Top Swim Clubs Faces Struggles Amid Allegations of Mismanagement
53 Top 20 NCAA Swimming Recruits in the Girls High School Class of 2023
54 Stanford’s Brooke Forde Says She’s Okay With Racing Lia Thomas at NCAAs
55 NCAA Publishes Division I 2022-2023 National Championship Standards
56 All-American Sophie Housey Retires from Swimming, Will Return to Michigan
57 Alex and Gretchen Walsh Sport Swim Collaboration: Behind the Scenes
58 NCAA Champ Matt Sates Ends NCAA Career After 3 Months, Returns to South Africa
59 Michael Phelps Announces Death of Father Fred
60 Watch: Lia Thomas Swmis 4:33.82 in the 500 Free Prelims at NCAA Championships
61 Top 20 NCAA Swimming Recruits in the Boys High School Class of 2023
62 Justin Ress DQ Overturned After Medals Ceremony for Rollercoaster 50 Back Gold
63 US World Championship Team Member Added to US Safesport Database
64 All Americans Grimm, Van Zandt Among Group Leaving Texas
65 Ruta Meilutyte POsts Video Swimming in Bloody Pond Near Russian Embassy
66 Joseph Schooling to Skip World Championships, Commonwealth Games
67 British Swimming Pulls Out of World University Games
68 Kenyan Swimmer Speaks Out on FINA Ban: It’s Not Fair for Me to Be Silent Anymore
69 USA Swimming Publishes Athlete Transgender Policy
70 How to Watch the 2022 Short Course World Championships
71 Time Standards Released for the 2023 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships
72 Rutgers Swimmer Liza Ryndych Suspended for 2 Years By RUSADA
73 USA Swimming Releases Age Group Motivational Times for 2021-2024 (2021)
74 REPORT: FINA to Postpone Fukuoka World Championships to July 2023
75 How to Watch the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships

55 Most-Read SwimSwam Articles of 2022 (Recaps)

Rank Recap Link
1 LC Worlds – Day 4 Finals
2 LC Worlds – Day 5 Finals
3 LC Worlds – Day 1 Finals
4 LC Worlds – Day 3 Finals
5 LC Worlds – Day 8 Finals
6 LC Worlds – Day 2 Finals
7 LC Worlds – Day 6 Finals
8 Women’s NCAAs – Day 4 Finals
9 LC Worlds – Day 7 Finals
10 Women’s NCAAs – Day 3 Finals
11 U.S World Trials – Day 2 Finals
12 Women’s NCAAs – Day 2 Finals
13 Men’s NCAAs – Day 3 Finals
14 Comm Games – Day 2 Finals
15 Men’s NCAAs – Day 4 Finals
16 U.S World Trials – Day 1 Finals
17 Men’s NCAAs – Day 2 Finals
18 U.S World Trials – Day 3 Finals
19 Women’s NCAAs – Day 1 Finals
20 Men’s NCAAs – Day 1 Finals
21 U.S World Trials – Day 3 Prelims
22 LC Worlds – Day 1 Prelims
23 U.S World Trials – Day 5 Finals
24 Women’s NCAAs – Day 2 Prelims
25 U.S World Trials – Day 4 Finals
26 U.S World Trials – Day 1 Prelims
27 U.S World Trials – Day 4 Finals
28 Women’s NCAAs – Day 3 Prelims
29 Comm Games – Day 3 Finals
30 Comm Games – Day 6 Finals
31 LC Worlds – Day 2 Prelims
32 Comm Games – Day 1 Finals
33 Men’s NCAAs – Day 3 Prelims
34 Men’s NCAAs – Day 2 Prelims
35 Comm Games – Day 5 Finals
36 U.S. World Trials – Day 4 Prelims
37 Duel In The Pool – Day 2
38 SC Worlds – Day 3 Finals
39 LC Worlds – Day 4 Prelims
40 SC Worlds – Day 4 Finals
41 Euros – Day 3 Finals
42 LC Worlds – Day 5 Prelims
43 Women’s NCAAs – Day 4 Prelims
44 LC Worlds – Day 6 Prelims
45 Comm Games – Day 4 Finals
46 U.S Nats – Day 1 Finals
47 Euros – Day 5 Finals
48 SC Worlds – Day 2 Finals
49 Duel in the Pool – Day 3
50 SC Worlds – Day 1 Finals
51 ACCs – Day 5 Finals
52 SC Worlds – Day 6 Finals
53 Euros – Day 4 Finals
54 SC Worlds – Day 1 Prelims
55 LC Worlds – Day 3 Prelims


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Obese Legend
5 months ago

Jeez. The list is full of dramas.

5 months ago

Basically just post about Dressel, Lia Thomas, or some form of emotional/sexual swim coach abuse and it’ll get a ton of clicks.

People love DRAMA

5 months ago

Dang there was a lot of drama in swimming this year

5 months ago

It’s not Viktoria’s picture and it’s not even a ruzzian flag. The photo was taken in Ukraine by my good friend who found this piece of rag which only *looked like* their flag. Viktoria just reposted it to her IG.

Demarrit Steenbergen
5 months ago

Wow! A dark year in many ways.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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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