Earlier this week, we tallied up the most-commented SwimSwam stories of the year 2016. That list is typically very heavy on live meet recaps, which function as much as a live chatroom as they do a comment section. So to filter out that effect, we’ve also compiled a list of the top non-recap stories to amass the most comments in the year 2016.
Our top 22 most-commented stories were all meet recaps, spread between the Rio Olympics, U.S. Olympic Trials and the men’s NCAA Championships. But below is our list of non-recap stories, each of which inspired hundreds of reader comments.
It’s no surprise that two of the most contentious and controversial stories of 2016 garnered the most comments. The Brock Turner sexual assault trial and resulting conviction and sentence became widely-discussed even outside of swimming and brought a huge wave of new commenters to SwimSwam, as well as stirring discussion among those who regularly follow swimming. Our story on the victim statement read at the trial, combined with a leaked court statement from Turner’s father, was our most-commented story on the list, with 362 comments.
The other story to inspire massive discussion was the Ryan Lochte saga involving an alleged armed robbery, then alleged vandalism at a gas station bathroom in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after the swimming portion of the Olympics had wrapped. Varying pieces of that story take up 9 of our top 20 spots on the list, with a total of 1,937 comments.
Here’s the full listing below. We’ve included 21 stories, as we had a tie for the 20th spot at 176 comments apiece.
The “overall rank” column shows where that story ranks in our overall list of comments, including meet recaps and non-news pieces. All comment numbers are as of publication (on January 3, 2017).
Top 20 Most-Commented Stories on SwimSwam.com For 2016 (Excluding Recaps)
Also, check out our other countdowns of 2016’s top stories: