The 2017 FINA World Aquatic Championships have just wrapped up in Budapest, Hungary. And let us tell you that it was one to save for the history books. There were a ton of world records broken, countless nail-biting races and lots, lots of hot swimmers showing off the results of their exhausting training regiments.
If you are not familiar with it, swimming is one of the sports with the most rigorous training routines. Since every little hundredth of a second can make a difference in a top competition, athletes are not even allowed to miss a single day of practice, as doing so could severely damage their chances of winning an international competition or even going up to the podium. Sure, there are the extreme cases like Michael Phelps, who can go out, smoke weed, and get drunk whenever he wants and still win every single race he competes in. But that is something that only those who are not human have the luxury.
Either way, some of the women who competed in this year’s competition not only attracted the eyes of the crowd because of their astounding speed cutting through the water and leaving the competition behind, but also because several of them were nothing short of stunning. With that, we have separated a list of 15 hot AF pictures of swimmers that you need to see. A few of those who managed to make their way into this list were competing a few weeks ago, while others are swimmers who might not be in their prime anymore but still look as good as ever.
15 Katinka Hosszu
Mióta mostantól nem fogok annyi versenyszámban úszni a Világkupán, így van időm lepihenni... Viccet félretéve, számomra a sport lehetővé teszi, hogy feszegessük a határainkat, rengeteget tanuljunk belőle és ezáltal inspiráljunk másokat is. Ha például Micheal Jordan limitálva lett volna, hogy hány percet vagy hány meccset játszhat akkor ma nem tudnánk, hogy mire volt képes és az NBA valószínűleg nem lenne olyan nézett, mint most... * * Now that I won't swim all those events at the World Cup I got some extra time to lay around... But with all seriousness, sports allows you to push your limits, challenge yourself and grow as a person as well as inspire others. If for example Micheal Jordan would have been limited to how many games or minutes he can play we would never know what he was capable of and most likely the NBA wouldn't been as watched as it is now...
If we are talking about training regimen and hard work, there is no better name to lead the way than the Iron Lady, Katinka Hosszu.
This 28-year-old national hero brought the Hungarian crowd to their feet whenever her name was called up for a race. And we will be damned if she didn’t give them something to cheer for. The Olympic Champion finished the competition with three gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. Those must be very heavy to wear at the same time, but something tells us that Katinka’s neck is strong enough to withstand that weight. After all, the Iron Lady really seems like she’s made out of iron.
A lot of people say that talent is necessary to be a world champion in anything, but this is a woman whose attitude and body both prove that hard work is a good way to reach the top.
14 Inge De Bruijn
Inge De Bruijn is one of the greatest Dutch swimmers of all time. During her incredibly illustrious career, De Bruijn collected a total of 18 gold medals in world-class competitions. Among those gold medals were three she got in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and one she got in the 2004 Athens Olympics. When she was in her prime, De Bruijn was so good that she was named Female World Swimmer of the Year for two consecutive years in 2000 and 2001 by the magazine, Swimming World.
But the mystique behind her was not only recognized by awards but also because for the longest time she was the best swimmer in the world. Until Katie Ledecky won her 10th career medal at the 2016 Olympics, De Bruijn was the all-time leader among women in total number of World Championships and Olympic medals won.
13 Pernille Blume
At just 23 years old, Pernille Blume is one of the youngest athletes to make our list. But don’t be mistaken, this Danish swimmer might be young, but she already has the kind of results older athletes strive their whole lives to attain. There are not many people who can say they had become an Olympic Champion by the time they were 22. Well, when she clocked 24.07 in the 50 m freestyle final and smashed the Danish national record in the Rio 2016 Olympics, Blume became the fastest female swimmer in the world and proudly got to display that beautiful Olympic gold medal on her chest.
As a young athlete, the 2016 Olympic champion is also more than comfortable sharing the daily aspects of her life with her more than 76,000 Instagram followers.
12 Yuliya Efimova
Like most Russian athletes these days, Yuliya Efimova has met her share of controversy in her swimming career. Sometime between February and March of 2016, this young Russian swimmer tested positive for a banned substance six times and was temporarily banned from international competitions. After some investigation, FINA declared that Efimova was innocent and had not committed any negligence. Still, the temporary suspension was enough to throw the crowd against her in the 2016 Olympics, where she was booed over and over again.
Surprisingly, even with the crowd against her, Efimova managed to compete at a high level and finish the competition with two silver medals. This year, she became a world champion after winning the 200 m breaststroke race in Budapest. Maybe people should spend more time cheering for this beautiful swimmer rather than booing an innocent woman.
11 Chloe Sutton
Chloe Sutton is someone who has gotten used to making history. At just 16 years of age, she competed and finished in third place in the 5 km open water event at the 2008 Seville World Open Water Championships. Just a few months later, she qualified for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. There, the 16-year-old competed in the 10 km race and managed to become the 22nd best in the world. If those were not enough, in 2007 she had already become a Pan-American Games Champion.
In 2012 Sutton became the first American swimmer to make the US Olympic teams and compete in both open water and pool events. And since an image is worth more than a thousand words, we don’t need to tell you that she has just as much beauty as she has talent.
10 Mireia Belmonte
We already talked about Katinka Hosszu, so is about time that we mentioned the Iron Lady’s number one rival, Mireia Belmonte. These two have been going back and forth for years by now, and while Katinka might seem to have an edge today, it wasn’t always like that. The best example we can use to illustrate this rivalry is the progression of the women’s 400 m individual medley world record in short course competitions.
Belmonte first broke the record in 2008 with a time of 4:25.06. Hosszu then smashed it in 2013, clocking 4:20.85 at the World Cup. In return, Belmonte broke the record again a year later with 4:19.86. It held on for almost a year until Hosszu established the current record at 4:19.46. Rivals in the pool and outside of it, one thing we can’t deny is that these two are great faces to have representing your sport.
9 Zsuzsanna Jakabos
Zsuzsanna Jakabos might have one of the toughest names to spell out of any Olympic athlete, but that smile makes the struggle of learning it very worthwhile. Another Hungarian swimmer on our list, Jakobos has always been a good swimmer, but she is most commonly known because she is one of the hottest athletes in the world. In terms of results, her best finishes came in European Championships. Throughout her career, she has won one gold medal in long course competitions, and a pair in short course events.
Nevertheless, while she might not be winning, Jakobos is one of those athletes who are always competing at a high level. After all, this is a woman who participated in four different Olympics. There are not many people who can claim the same.
8 Aleksandra Gerasimenya
We wonder what the reason might be, but Eastern European countries seem like the most common region from where beautiful swimmers come from. All the way from Russia to Hungary, that region is a goldmine for lists like this one. So here we give you a representative of one of the lesser-known countries from that region.
Aleksandra Gerasimenya is a 31-year-old swimmer from Belarus, who has done pretty much everything in the swimming world other than win an Olympic gold medal. She does have a pair of silver medals and one Olympic bronze to her name, but her only two gold medals have come from World Championships, which is still impressive. When it comes to looks, however, it is tough to put her behind anyone else, regardless of how vast the pool of talent might be.
7 Katarina Listopadova
Katarina Listopadova is still far from being one of the most recognizable names in swimming. Nevertheless, this 24-year-old endurance swimmer has given Slovakian fans something to cheer about more than they were used to. At that young age, she already holds four national records.
When Listopadova made her first international appearance at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics, she was a pleasant surprise for the crowd as she finished in fourth place in three different events. Sure, almost getting to the podium has to leave a sour taste in your mouth, but it is still something that will make an individual extremely proud.
Listopadova followed that surprising performance with a qualification to the 2012 Summer Olympics, where she was the youngest Slovak athlete. Again, she might’ve finished far from the gold, but it still earned her enough fans to make up a following of more than 12,000 people on Instagram alone.
6 Franziska van Almsick
Franziska van Almsick might not be competing anymore, but this legendary German swimmer has made enough history to earn her a place on this list. After all, we have talked about female swimmers who had success early in their careers, and yet none of the others could say that they had already won their first Olympic medals by the time they were 14. Yes, Almsick was an early bloomer when it comes to swimming. It was in Barcelona 1992 that this Berlin native made her name known throughout the world as she won a pair of medals despite being in her early teens.
If those first medals were not enough, at 16 she broke the 200 m freestyle world record, and remained the record holder for nearly 13 years.
5 Sarah Sjostrom
Undoubtedly the fastest woman on this list, Sarah Sjostrom is a champion unlike any other. Unlike other names on this list, we don’t need to look that far back to understand the greatness of the Swedish swimmer. Sjostrom was just named the FINA Female Swimmer of the Meet for the 2017 World Championships. That pretty much means that she currently is the best swimmer in the world.
Where medals are concerned, Sjostrom has won 11 gold medals in Olympic Games and World Championships alone. She currently holds four long course world records and a pair of short course world bests. And are you ready for the icing on the cake?
Sjostrom is still only 23 years old. So we advise that you start following international swimming, because you will get to see a lot of this Swedish beauty.
4 Natalie Coughlin
When it comes to the number of medals, there are hardly any swimmers who can hold up to the juggernaut that was Natalie Coughlin. This California gal collected more medals in her career than anyone would know what to do with. Talking total numbers, she has won a total of 60 medals in major competitions. In Olympic Games alone, her 12 medals tied her with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for the all-time record for most medals won by a female swimmer.
She is also the holder of one of the most impressive milestones in swimming. While she was still in college, Coughlin became the first woman ever to swim the 100 m backstroke event in less than one minute. Her list of records goes on and on and on, but one thing she did that you might want to check out was that she posed for a cover of the 2015 ESPN The Magazine The Body Issue.
3 Laure Manaudou
France has a long tradition of developing some of the most amazing speedsters in swimming. Still, every once in a while even a nation with specialties like that can develop a swimmer that is so versatile and durable that they can excel in all kinds of events. The perfect example of this phenomenon is the 30-year-old Laure Manaudou.
Manaudou is stunning in both appearance and skill. She competes mainly in the freestyle and backstroke competitions, but she is so versatile that she can win world-class races regardless of their distance. We just need to look back to her performance in the 2006 Budapest European Championships, where she won four individual gold medals. There, Manaudou won the 100 m backstroke, the 400 m and 800 m freestyle, as well as the 200 m medley competitions.
2 Federica Pellegrini
You know someone is one of the most beautiful competitors in a sport when their nickname is “The Diva.”
Federica Pellegrini has lived up to her reputation both in the water and outside of it. Competing, she is one of the fastest and most tenacious swimmers in the world. Pellegrini proved that over and over again, as she became an Olympic champion in 2008 and eventually followed that performance by setting a world record in the 200 m freestyle at the 2009 World Championships, which by the way, happened in her home turf in Italy.
Most recently, the Diva proved that she is far from being done at 28 years old, and won her fifth World Championship title in Budapest. Outside of the pool, she never lacks on showing people why she received that nickname. Just ask her more than 681k Instagram followers.
1 Bia & Branca Feres
After a list filled with beautiful swimmers who have won several titles and made history in their sport, we could not find a better way to close the deal than with the most famous twins in all of water sports.
Unlike the other ladies on this list, Bia and Branca Feres do not focus their swimming skills into becoming the fastest out there. They lean towards a more graceful side of water sports. These two are synchronized swimmers. Yes, we get the coincidence, but could you seriously come up with a better idea for synchronized swimmers than to have someone who looks just like you to be your partner? It doesn’t get more synchronized than that.
These days they focus more on being journalists than on swimming, but the two of them still competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing in sixth place in the team competition.