The swimming world has been forever changed by these iconic and disruptive famous female swimmers. They have paved the way for the female swimmers of tomorrow with their significant contributions and achievements.

Here are the most influential famous female swimmers throughout history:

1) Sarah “Fanny” Durack

fanny durack, famous female swimmers,
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Fanny became the first woman in the world to ever win the Olympic gold medal in swimming, representing Australasia. Before getting to the finals, where she won the first gold medal for women, she set a new world record of 1:19.8 doing the 100m freestyle.

2) Gertrude Ederle

gertrude ederle, famous female swimmers
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Gertrude was the first woman to successfully cross the English Channel in 1926. Her accomplishment made waves in the women’s rights movement. Gertrude outswam the five men who attempted the channel before her by a full two hours. On top of that, Ederle was one of the first women to wear a two-piece swimsuit in public.

3) Krisztina Egerszegi

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Krisztina became the youngest-ever female Olympic champion in swimming at 14 years years old. She’s participated in three Olympic Games and is a five-time Olympic medalist. She held the world record in the long course 200 m backstroke for almost 17 years, was ranked the top swimmer in the 200 m backstroke in the world rankings in 1988, and won the same swimming event at three consecutive Summer Olympics!

4) Natalie Coughlin

famous female swimmers, natalie

Natalie Coughlin is a twelve-time Olympic medalist. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she became the first U.S. female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympiad, and the first woman ever to win a 100-meter backstroke gold in two consecutive Olympics (wikipedia).

5) Katie Ledecky

katie ledecky, famous female swimmers,
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At age 15, Katie Ledecky set an American record in the 800-meter freestyle to win a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Games. She has won five Olympic gold medals and 14 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer.

Are there any other famous female swimmers we forgot to mention? Leave a comment below!