The Top 20 Most-Commented SwimSwam Stories of 2016, Excluding Recaps

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 For 2016 (Excluding Recaps)

Rank Overall Rank Story Comments
1 23 Statements From Brock Turner’s Father, Victim Spark Outrage Over Sentence 362
2 25 You Won’t Be The Same After Watching Michael Phelps’ New Under Armour Ad 356
3 26 Judge Dismisses Katinka Hosszu’s Lawsuit Vs Barrett, Swimming World 335
4 28 Phelps, Lochte, Haas Among Men’s 4×100 Free Relay Atlanta Time Trial 317
5 32 Father of Paralympic Champion Jessica Long Speaks Out on Cheating 292
6 33 Princeton Suspends Men’s Swimming And Diving Team’s Season 284
7 35 Jack Conger Issues Statement on Rio Incident 270
8 36 Report: Conger, Bentz Confirm Lochte Robbery Story Was Fabricated 256
9 37 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Previews: Men’s 100 Free & USA Redemption 244
10 39 Ryan Lochte Apologizes For Rio Incident 232
11 40 Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen Indicted in Brazil for False Reporting 229
12 42 Lochte Confirms Plans To Swim Through Tokyo Despite Rio Mistakes 208
13 44 USOC Gives Statement on Lochte Incident; Bentz & Conger Have Left Rio 199
14 45 Joe Bernal Added To USA Swimming’s Banned List 198
15 46 Rio 2016 Olympic Previews: Men’s 4×100 Free Relay 189
16 48 Longtime Sponsor Speedo Drops Ryan Lochte Amid ‘Robbery’ Scandal 186
17 49 Rio Police Confirm Bathroom Vandalism, Guns Were Drawn On Swimmers 181
18 50 Mack Horton Calls Out Sun Yang: ‘I Don’t Have Time For Drug Cheats’ 178
19 51 Rio 2016 Olympic Previews: Men’s 100 Free & The Chase For a 46 177
20 53 Bentz and Conger Pulled Off a Rio Plane, More Info on NBC 10 ET 176
20 53 Yulia Efimova Calls Out Michael Phelps for Smoking Weed 176


Also, check out our other countdowns of 2016’s top stories:

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I love reading the Rio 4×100 free relay preview comments. Australia is definitely going to win.

Aussie crawl

Just remember you are only as good as your last race.


Is it too late to make 7 quick comments about Phelps’ under armor ad so he overtakes Brock Turner?


It looks like scandals were the most popular topics.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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