With 5th World Championships Berth, Ledecky and Kalisz Join Exclusive List

At the 2022 U.S. World Trials, Katie Ledecky and Chase Kalisz were both selected for their fifth World Championship teams. This puts them on an exclusive list of only 13 athletes who have ever competed for the US at five or more World Championships. 

Athlete Name Years Competed
Katie Ledecky 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022
Chase Kalisz 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022
Haley Anderson 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
Nathan Adrian 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
Matt Grevers 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
Elizabeth Beisel 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
Ryan Lochte 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
Jessica Hardy 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015
Natalie Coughlin 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013
Michael Phelps 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011
Jason Lezak 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011
Aaron Piersol 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009
Mary DeScenza (Mohler) 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009

Kalisz and Ledecky have both competed at four consecutive World Championships, from 2013-2019. They are both entered to compete at their fifth World Championships later this summer.

Ledecky has won 18 World Championship medals so far, including 15 gold and three silver.  She has the chance to add several more this summer, competing in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles as well as being a candidate for the 800 free relay.

Kalisz has five World Championship medals to his name so far. These include gold in the 200 and 400 IM in 2017, as well as one silver and two bronze. Later this summer, Kalisz will have a chance to earn more medals in the 200 and 400 IM.

Prior to Kalisz and Ledecky, a trio of athletes were selected for their fifth World Championships in 2019. These include Haley Anderson, Nathan Adrian, and Matt Grevers.

Adrian competed in a total of six World Championships over his career. He is also a 3-time Olympian, qualifying in 2008, 2012, and 2016. At World Championships, he has earned a total of 18 medals — 11 gold, 5 silver, and 2 bronze. In January 2019, Adrian announced his diagnosis with testicular cancer. Despite this, he continued to train with the intention of making the 2021 Olympic Team. He narrowly missed the team, coming 3rd in the 50 freestyle. Adrian did not compete at this year’s World Championship Trials, but has not formally announced his retirement. In fact, he even suggested the possibility of a comeback during a recent Reddit AMA.

Matt Grevers has a total of 13 World Championship medals. Swimming the 50 and 100 backstrokes individually and competing as part of several freestyle and medley relays, he has won six gold, five silver, and two bronze. He also made the Olympic Team in 2008 and 2012, winning four gold and two silver. Many fans expected Grevers to retire in 2016 after failing to make his third Olympic Team. He didn’t, and even competed in the 2021 Olympic Trials, finishing 6th in the 100 backstroke. As of yet, Grevers has not formally announced retirement. 

All five of Haley Anderson’s World Championships were in Open Water. She won several medals, including gold in the individual 5k in both 2013 and 2015 and silver in the individual 10k in 2019. Anderson was also part of the silver medal winning 5k relay team in 2017 and the bronze medal winning 5k relay team in 2019. She has also competed in three Olympics, winning a silver medal for the 10k in 2012. Anderson recently announced her retirement, ending an impressive career that lasted over a decade.

Another notable name on this list is Michael Phelps. Phelps competed in a total of six World Championships, but he technically qualified for seven. In 2015, he was dropped from the roster after being suspended for a DUI.

One absence on this list that comes as a bit of a surprise is Dara Torres. Torres competed in five Olympics — 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008, earning 12 medals. However, she only competed at the World Championships in 1986 and 2009.

It should also be noted that the first World Championships was in 1973. This means that several American greats were never given the chance to qualify. Athletes who could have possibly made a list like this had they been given the opportunity include Duke Kahanamoku and Mark Spitz, among others.

The first FINA World Championship event was held in 1973, and they now occur every two years. Between 1978 and 1998, they were held every four years. The 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be the 19th iteration of this event.

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1 year ago

A bit deceiving stat since they have more Worlds in the 200s0s then in the 1900s. Then only one per quad vs now 2 per quad. I think that is how it went?

Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

Agreed. Every two years is excessive, diminishes the level of the event. The original plan as noted was every four years, in the even years opposite the Olympics. There’d be a global meet every two years, which seems right to me.

Pau Hanna
Reply to  OldNotDead
1 year ago

Agreed. I think WC has a much more significant meet when it was part of a two year alternating cycle with the OG.

1 year ago

It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Beisel is still in her 20s.

Tea rex
1 year ago

Queen Coughlin!!
This reminded me she took 2009 off, when everyone else was chasing cheap records. Shudder to think what she would have done that year.

Reply to  Tea rex
1 year ago

Would’ve been 57 I bet..

Suzy Q
1 year ago

didn’t beisel make 2017 as well?

Reply to  Suzy Q
1 year ago

Yes – she made the 400IM. She was beat by Leah Smith and Ella Eastin at trials but Ella got dq’ed for the lochte rule.

Reply to  swimswamswum
1 year ago


Reply to  Suzy Q
1 year ago

Beisel has 6 then, which puts her with Adrian, Phelps, Coughlin, and Lochte.