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Competitive swimming is one of only five sports to have been contested at every Olympic Games since the first competition of the modern era was held in 1896. While only a handful of swimming events took place that year, the sport has grown considerably since then-at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there were 16 swimming events on the schedule for both men and women. The growth of competitive swimming has given athletes the opportunity to push the limits in the pool, and for more than a century countless swimmers have done just that, proving their worth to be considered one of the best. They Ruled the Pool looks at the careers of the 100 greatest swimmers in history, profiling some of the biggest names the sport has seen, from Mark Spitz and Tracy Caulkins to Janet Evans and Michael Phelps. Each swimmer is ranked based on achievements such as Olympic medals, world and European championships, and world records. Chapters include biographical information, accomplishments, records, finest performances, and insight into how the swimmer became one of the best in the sport. Thoroughly researched and compiled, They Ruled the Pool also contains appendixes that serve as quick reference tools for those wanting to see world and Olympic medal counts of the profiled swimmers. Fans, coaches, athletes, and researchers alike will find this an indispensable resource.