The United States’ team for the 2017 World Championships has gotten younger – but perhaps not by as much as you’d expect.
The average member of the U.S. team at the Olympic Games was 23.3 years old. This year’s team is younger, but maybe not by as much as you’d think – the average member of the 2017 team is 22 years, 204 days old. That’s a drop of about .7 years (about 9 months) per swimmer on average.
It feels like that gap should be bigger. There were 5 members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team who were at least 30 years old, and none of the 5 (Phelps, Lochte, Weir, Ervin, Plummer) are on this year’s World Championships team. Other veterans from Rio like Tom Shields, Dana Vollmer, Allison Schmitt, Jimmy Feigen, and Connor Jaeger are also not on this year’s team.
There are also far more teenagers on this year’s team, including 15-year old Regan Smith and 17-year olds Robert Finke and Dakota Luther.
What seems to have happen, in spite of the extremes on both ends getting younger, is that the ‘middle class’ of swimmers have been rewarded for prolonging their careers beyond college. Swimmers like Zane Grothe and Katie Meili and Melanie Margalis have brought up the average age. The median age of the team is 22 years and 100 days, which is fairly close to the mean age. The median age, which is one way to control for the effects of outliers (like the 15-year old Smith), being so close to the mean age indicates that it’s this group in the middle that has the biggest impact on the average age of the team, and that median lands where one would expect – right around the age of someone recently graduated from college. This year’s team is dense with swimmers in that category.
Also true is that in spite of a lot of turnover, there’s a large core of the team that remains the same from Rio, and that core is one year older than they were at the Olympics. If one compared the average age of this year’s Worlds team on August 5th, 2016 to the age of the Olympic Team on August 5th, 2016, that gap would be more like a year and 9 months, which is more what the perception of the shift is.
- …to Kelsi Worrell, who celebrated her 23rd birthday on Saturday, July 15th, at training camp in Ostia
- …to Nic Fink, who will celebrate his 25th birthday in Budapest on the day after the conclusion of swimming, July 31st
- …to Ryan Murphy (July 2nd) and Hali Flickinger (July 3rd), who got to celebrate their birthdays before leaving for camp
- …the youngest male member of the team is Robert Finke, who will be 17 years, 264 days old when the meet starts.
- …the youngest female member of the team is Regan Smith, who will be 15 years, 168 days old when the meet starts.
- …the oldest male member of the team is Matt Grevers, who will be 32 years, 127 days old when the meet starts.
- …the oldest female member of the team is Katie Meili, who will be 26 years, 105 days old when the meet starts.
- The men’s team is on average older than the women’s team, as is usually the case. The average male swimmer is 23 years, 103 days old, while the average female swimmer is 21 years, 267 days old.
- Both the male and female teams have dropped in age about evenly since Rio – the men’s team has gotten .7 years younger on average, while the women’s team has gotten about .9 years younger, on average.
- There will be 6 teenagers swimming for Team USA in Budapest. That’s the same number as were in Rio, with the difference that in Rio – all 6 of them were 19.
- Two of the three high school swimmers on the team, Robert Finke and Dakota Luther, were born 1 day apart.
- The entire team combined has been on earth for just over 1,015 years. This is still a useless stat, but we still think it’s fun.
Each swimmer’s birthday and age
|Men’s Team||Birthdate||Age||Zodiac Sign|
|Chase Kalisz||3/7/1994||23 years, 144 days||Pisces|
|Kevin Cordes||8/13/1993||23 years, 350 days||Leo|
|Ryan Murphy||7/2/1995||22 years, 27 days||Cancer|
|Townley Haas||12/13/1996||20 years, 227 days||Sagittarius|
|Conor Dwyer||1/10/1989||28 years, 201 days||Capricorn|
|Jack Conger||9/26/1994||22 years, 306 days||Libran|
|Clark Smith||4/17/1995||22 years, 103 days||Aries|
|Nathan Adrian||12/7/1988||28 years, 235 days||Sagittarius|
|Caeleb Dressel||8/16/1996||20 years, 346 days||Leo|
|Cody Miller||1/9/1992||25 years, 202 days||Capricorn|
|Blake Pieroni||11/15/1995||21 years, 256 days||Scorpio|
|Jay Litherland||8/24/1995||21 years, 339 days||Virgo|
|Jacob Pebley||9/17/1993||23 years, 315 days||Virgo|
|Matt Grevers||3/26/1985||32 years, 127 days||Aries|
|Zach Apple||4/23/1997||20 years, 96 days||Taurus|
|Abrahm DeVine||9/3/1996||20 years, 328 days||Virgo|
|Nic Fink||7/3/1993||24 years, 26 days||Cancer|
|Tim Phillips||11/30/1990||26 years, 242 days||Sagittarius|
|Pace Clark||6/24/1994||23 years, 35 days||Cancer|
|Michael Chadwick||4/15/1995||22 years, 105 days||Aries|
|Zane Grothe||4/22/1992||25 years, 98 days||Taurus|
|True Sweetser||10/14/1997||19 years, 287 days||Libran|
|Robert Finke||11/6/1999||17 years, 264 days||Scorpio|
|Justin Ress||8/3/1997||19 years, 359 days||Leo|
|Katie Ledecky||3/17/1997||20 years, 133 days||Pisces|
|Kelsi Worrell||7/15/1994||23 years, 14 days||Cancer|
|Lilly King||2/10/1997||20 years, 168 days||Aquarius|
|Olivia Smoliga||10/12/1994||22 years, 290 days||Libran|
|Leah Smith||4/19/1995||22 years, 101 days||Aries|
|Elizabeth Beisel||8/18/1992||24 years, 345 days||Leo|
|Kathleen Baker||2/28/1997||20 years, 150 days||Pisces|
|Katie Meili||4/16/1991||26 years, 105 days||Aries|
|Simone Manuel||8/2/1996||20 years, 360 days||Leo|
|Lia Neal||2/13/1995||22 years, 166 days||Aquarius|
|Abbey Weitzeil||12/3/1996||20 years, 237 days||Sagittarius|
|Hali Flickinger||7/7/1994||23 years, 22 days||Cancer|
|Melanie Margalis||12/30/1991||25 years, 212 days||Capricorn|
|Madisyn Cox||5/30/1995||22 years, 60 days||Gemini|
|Bethany Galat||8/10/1995||21 years, 353 days||Leo|
|Mallory Comerford||9/6/1997||19 years, 325 days||Virgo|
|Hannah Stevens||5/9/1995||22 years, 81 days||Taurus|
|Regan Smith||2/9/2002||15 years, 168 days||Aquarius|
|Sarah Gibson||4/20/1995||22 years, 100 days||Taurus|
|Dakota Luther||11/7/1999||17 years, 263 days||Scorpio|
|Cierra Runge||3/7/1996||21 years, 143 days||Pisces|