There is a high number of drowning incidents among Vietnamese children and teenagers due to the lack of swimming skills and knowledge. A total of 7,249 children died due to this issue in 2005 and 2006, as reported by the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs reported an average of 6,400 Vietnamese deaths from drowning each year, and most of them are children. Drowning is the leading cause of death for Vietnamese children, and yet swimming lessons are still not a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Unfortunately, Vietnamese parents do not consider swimming as a survival skill. But for some parents in big cities, they send their children to swimming lessons held during summer breaks around the city. For some, it can be costly, but there are other available classes if they look closely.
There are still no policies for the development of swimming and facilitate learning among Vietnamese children; organizations like SwimSafe are taking a step further to provide support for their advocacy. With a little help of inspiration from the top male swimmers in the world, it would be beneficial for the Vietnamese children to look up to their achievements. Here are some of the top male swimmers in the world:
It is no surprise for most people that Michael Phelps would be one of the top influential swimmers in history. Phelps is famous for breaking the record for the most Olympic gold medals, with a tally of 23 medals all in all. He is now the most memorable Olympic swimmer of all time, and also the record holder for the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and the 400-meter individual medley. Phelps won the American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times and the World Swimmer of the Year Award seven times. He is also the record holder for Olympic gold medals in individual events with 13, and Olympic medals in different activities with 16. Phelps also broke the record of Mark Spitz’s seven first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games in 1972, and he also won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which centers on the development of the sport of swimming and contributing healthier lifestyles. He then retired after the 2012 Olympics but made his return in April of 2014. Phelps was selected to be the flag bearer of the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. Afterwhich, he announced his retirement for the second time and became the best swimmer in history and among the top male swimmers in the world.
Mark Spitz is a retired American swimmer, also known as “Mark the Shark,” with seven gold medals from the 1972 Munich Olympic games. He won the World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1972. He also set an impressive 33 world records.
Matthew Nicholas Biondi was an American professional swimmer, eleven-time Olympic medalist, and a former record-holder in five events in swimming. He did not go to training until he entered high school. But when he finished high school, he had a school record in the 50-yard freestyle. Biondi is an 11-time Olympic medalist who is known for inspiring the generation of real professional swimming.
He competed in the Summer Olympic Games in the years 1984, 1988, and 1992, and took home eight golds, two silvers, and one bronze, a total of eleven medals. Biondi won five gold medals, setting world records in the 50-meter freestyle and three relay events at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. He has established three individual world records in the 50-meter freestyle and four in the 100-meter freestyle during his career. Biondi became a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
Robert “Bob” Bowman is the man responsible for the success of Michael Phelps in which he coached him and helped win his 22 Olympic medals. Bob is the current head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils diving and swimming teams of Arizona State University. He also became the head coach for the Michigan Wolverines diving and swimming team of the University of Michigan men’s swimming and diving team from 2005 to 2008. Bob also worked as the head coach and the CEO for North Baltimore Aquatic Club from 2008 to 2015. And in 2015, he was appointed as the head coach of the men’s U.S. 2016 Olympic Team.
Ian James Thorpe, also known as the “Thorpedo,” is a retired Australian swimmer. He specialized in freestyle and also competed in individual medley and backstroke. Thorpe was the first professional swimmer to win six gold medals in just one world championship. He also won eleven world championship golds, which is the second-highest world record and the highest record in Australia.
Thorpe was the youngest male swimmer to represent Australia at the age of 14. He won the 400-metre freestyle at the Perth World Championships in 1988 and made him the youngest individual male World Champion. Since then, Thorpe took over the 400-metre, winning the event at every World Championships, Commonwealth Championships, Olympic Championships, and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships until his break after the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. He also won six gold medals in one World Championship at the 2001 World Aquatics Championships and became the first person to do it.
Thorpe is the top male swimmer who was first labeled as “Swimming World Swimmer of the Year” four times and was 1999 to 2003 Australian Swimmer of the Year. His accomplishments made him one of Australia’s most well-known athletes and were awarded the Young Australian of the Year in 2000.
Ryan Lochte is an American competitive swimmer that has competed in numerous competitions and earned 90 medals already. He is a 12-time Olympic medalist placing him second only to Michael Phelps in U.S. Men’s Swimming. Lochte holds the world record in the 4×200-metre long course freestyle and 4×100-metre mixed freestyle relay as part of the American teams making him the second-most decorated Olympian along with Jenny Thompson, Natalie Coughlin, and Dara Torres. He is the 200-metre short and long course individual medley record holder.
Lochte is one of the top male swimmers known for his specialty in backstroke and individual medley but is also a great swimmer with butterfly and freestyle strokes. He is also famous for the distance and speed he produces while kicking underwater. Lochte also dominated the 25-yard and 25-metre-long pools short course events. Within 50.71 seconds, he swam the 100-metre individual medley at the FINA World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, on December 15, 2012. Lochte also punched in a record of 1 minute 49.63 seconds as the fastest 200-metre individual medley.
Lochte was also awarded the World Swimmer of the Year Award, and twice with the American Swimmer of the Year. Adding to the list of his awards is the FINA Swimmer of the Year in which he received three times. Lochte also earned 54 golds, 22 silvers, and 14 bronzes competing in the Olympics, Pan American Games, the Pan Pacific Championships, the World Championships, as well as 39 world championship titles and six Olympic gold medals.
Johnny Weissmuller was a famous competition swimmer and actor. Born as an Austro-Hungarian American, he is famous for playing the role of Tarzan in films in the 1930s and 1940s.
Weissmuller was the first swimmer to overcome the one-minute barrier for the 100-metre freestyle, and the first swimmer to finish the 440-yard freestyle in under five minutes. He earned himself a title as one of the world’s fastest swimmers in the 1920s, winning one bronze medal for water polo and five Olympic gold medals. Under his belt are 50 world records for both freestyle and backstroke, 52 U.S. National Championships, and was purportedly unbeaten in official competition in his swimming career.
Johnny Weissmuller shifted to an acting career after he retired from swimming competitions. He was the sixth actor to represent Tarzan in which he landed twelve feature films of it. Weissmuller is the best actor to play the role of Tarzan with his distinctive ape-man yell.
These are top male swimmers in the world who have made a considerable difference in the swimming industry. The stellar list of athletes contributed growth to the sport, essential changes, and innovations over the years. These athletes would at least give inspiration for swimming enthusiasts to try to become one of the top male swimmers.