Olympic Swimming

Find out more about Swimming at the Olympics and Great Britain's successes at the Games.


  • The Great Britain Swimming Team has won a total of 79 medals at the Olympic Games made up of 20 Gold, 30 Silver and 29 Bronze medals
  • The largest Swimming Team at an Olympics was in 1976 when GB took 39 different swimmers to Montreal, the smallest squad was the six participants in Athens in 1906.
  • William Henry is the oldest GB swimming medallist with bronze in the relay in 1906 aged 47 while Sarah Hardcastle is the youngest at age 15 winning silver in 1984.
  • Overall Great Britain has won more medals in the 200m Breaststroke than any other, winning ten medals including four gold
  • Great Britain has won six gold medals in the women’s program: the 4x100m Freestyle Relay team in 1912, Lucy Morton in the 200m Breaststroke in 1924, Judith Grinham in the 100m Backstroke in 1956, Anita Lonsbrough in the 200m Breaststroke in 1960 and Rebecca Adlington in both the 400m Freestyle and 800m Freestyle in 2008.
  • Joyce Cooper holds the record for the most Olympic swimming medals by a British woman with four: silver in the 400m Freestyle Relay in 1928, and three bronzes in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke also in 1928, plus the 400m Freestyle Relay four years later.
  • June Croft swam in a British women’s swimming record eight Olympic finals, three in 1980 in Moscow and five more 4 years later in Los Angeles.
  • Great Britain has been represented in the Men’s 200m Freestyle final in the past six Olympics.

Tokyo 2020

  • The performance of the Great Britain Swimming team at the Tokyo Olympics is the most successful in the history of the modern Games (8 medals)
  • Duncan Scott was the most successful Team GB athlete at the Games – winning four medals (1 gold, 3 silver)
  • Tom Dean became the first ever British winner of the 200m Freestyle at the Olympic Games – finishing just ahead of Duncan Scott who came in for silver
  • Adam Peaty became the first ever British swimmer to retain an Olympic title, and just the second man in history to defend a 100m Breaststroke title at the Olympic Games
  • Tom Dean, James Guy, Matthew Richards and Duncan Scott broke the European record on their way to Olympic gold in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
  • Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin broke the world record on their way to the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay Olympic title in the event’s debut at a Games

Rio 2016

  • Rio saw the swimming team came home with one gold and five silver medals
  • Adam Peaty broke the world record in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke as he took his first Olympic title
  • Jazz Carlin took silver medals in both the Women’s 400m Freestyle and 800m Freestyle
  • Siobhan-Marie O’Connor took her sole Olympic medal in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley
  • Team GB’s male swimmers took silver medals in both the 4x200m Freestyle Relay and 4x100m Medley Relay

London 2012

  • The London Aquatics Centre was built for the Games – a venue which still hosts international aquatics events today
  • Michael Jamieson went under the old world record on his way to the silver medal in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke
  • Rebecca Adlington took a brace of bronze medals across the Women’s 400m & 800m Freestyle – adding to the two Olympic titles she took in the events four years ago

Beijing 2008

  • Rebecca Adlington became Britain’s most successful swimmer for 100 years when she won two gold medals. Her feat of winning the 400m Freestyle and the 800m Freestyle gave her the honour of being the first British swimmer to have won two gold medals since 1908 and the first Olympic Champion since 1988.
  • David Davies took silver in the Men’s 10km Marathon event – adding to his 1500m Freestyle bronze medal from Athens 2004
  • Joanne Jackson took bronze in the Women’s 400m Freestyle final – marking a double podium for Team GB in the event
  • In reaching the final of the 100m Backstroke in Beijing 2008 Gemma Spofforth became Britain’s first finalist in the event since 1984.
  • The Beijing Olympics also saw the inaugural 10km Marathon Swimming event which saw Keri-anne Payne and Cassandra Patten win two of the three medals on offer.