Some countries are known for producing great teams of swimmers and some countries will dominate the results in the pool for several years at a time both in Olympic and other international events. The trends for different countries usually reflect what is happening with regard to training and funding for the athletes.
Canada has been able to win an impressive 27 titles in Olympic and other FINA events and its participation in Olympic swimming goes back to 1908. This title haul is matched by France, where swimming is a favourite leisure pastime. Wild swimming is very popular in France and the country has taken part in the Olympics swimming events for many decades.
Italy beats both Canada and France with a total of 33 titles. Open water swimming is popular in Italy and its swimmers have won Olympic, World and European titles. British swimmers have won 35 titles and for the last couple of Olympic Games, a new generation of medal-winning swimmers have made a name for themselves, including in the Paralympic competitions.
The Netherlands has won a similar number of titles to Great Britain in international events, including the Olympics and this is a country that loves outdoor swimming. The Netherlands’ town of Eindhoven is host to an international swimming event that is held each year to help to determine which swimmers qualify for the Olympics.
Hungary surpasses the total of titles won by the Netherlands, with more than 50 international titles under its belt, but it still has a long way to go to beat Russia. Russia has in excess of 115 titles, including those won by the former USSR as well as those achieved after the Soviet Union broke up.
The huge success of Australian swimmers has seen the country bring home more than 130 titles and the team is often referred to as the ‘Dolphins’. The Australian swimming team is overseen by Swimming Australia, which monitors swimmers at all levels. China is known to be a very competitive nation and it has more than 140 titles to its name. It started taking part in the Olympic Games in 1952 and it formed its own swimming association in 1957.
Germany has more than 140 international swimming titles and these are in all types of swimming including water polo. This includes medals won by both East and West Germany when they were separate nations. At the top of the swimming league table is the USA. Their swimmers have won in excess of 460 international swimming titles. The headquarters of USA Swimming is in Colorado and this organisation raises money for training and the provision of sports medicine programmes. It oversees all swimming competitions held in the USA, including the Olympic trials which are held every four years.