I'm a huge swimming fan. So when the Olympics come around every four years I'm glued to my television relishing every single moment of prime time glory the sport receives.
5. Kaitlin Sandeno: She won a gold, a silver, and 2 bronzes competing in Athens and Sydney. But I think the real reason I love her is because she accepted my Facebook friend request back in 2004 when it was not as popular a website, thus creepier to be friends with strangers (even if you were a world class athlete).
4. Natalie Coughlin: She has never not medaled in an Olympic event in which she swam, giving her 11 medals. Total badass. Shes also the first woman to win 6 medals in a single games.
3. Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol: These two tied for 3rd because I like them for the same reasons. Besides the fact that they are both amazing swimmers (they each won one of the two backstroke events) I like these dudebros because of how the Olympic commentators, Rowdy Gaines and Dan Hicks, speak of them as being sooo laid back every single time they swim. With each appearance we got to hear all about how Lochte has made Michael Phelps more laid back and how Peirsol would rather be at the beach than the pool. They were referred to as surfers on more than one occasion--noting that Lochte is from a Florida beach while Peirsol is of course from Cali.
2. Amanda Beard: I remember her from Atlanta as a young teen that adorned her teddy bear with the medals she won. Shes still competing in the Olympics 14 years later but instead of clutching a teddy bear shes clutching her boobs. Did someone say dimepiece?
1. Summer Sanders: The first Olympics I remember watching was Barcelona, but I only remember a few things about it since I was 5. One memory was watching Summer Sanders win a gold medal! But shes my favorite swimmer because of her tenure as host of my favorite childhood game show, Figure It Out
Honorable Mentions: Peter Vanderkaay (for also accepting my facebook friendship request), Dara Torres (cougar!), and Michael Phelps (for being the only swimmer this Olympics to make me jump out of my seat during a race and for being awesome).