Books About Olympic Swimming

The Best Non-Fiction Books About Olympic Swimming

Swimming is one of the most watched sports in the Summer Olympics, and it always produces some of the biggest stars of the games.

It’s mostly an individual sport although there are some truly memorable relays and team-inspired stories. This means the majority of books about Olympic swimming tend to be memoirs and biographies. Athletes that capture the worlds attention from a swimming pool and become names that stick around in Olympic lore forever.

Beneath the Surface: My Story

by Michael Phelps, Brian Cazeneuve // Amazon // Audiobook
“In this candid memoir, Phelps talks openly about his battle with attention deficit disorder, the trauma of his parents’ divorce, and the challenges that come with being thrust into the limelight. relive all the heart-stopping glory as Phelps completes his journey from the youngest man to ever set a world swimming record in 2001, to an Olympic powerhouse in 2008, to surpassing the greatest athlete of ancient Greece, Leonidas of Rhodes, with 13 triumphs in 2016. Athletes and fans alike will be fascinated by insights into Phelps’s training, mental preparation, and behind-the-scenes perspective on international athletic competitions.”

Relentless Spirit: The Unconventional Raising of a Champion

by Missy Franklin, D.A. Franklin, Dick Franklin
Amazon // Audiobook
“What does it take to become a champion? Gold medalist Missy Franklin, along with her parents, D.A. and Dick, tell the inspirational and heartwarming story of how Missy became both a legendary athlete and a happy and confident woman, something they accomplished by doing things their own way and making the right choices for their family. the story of how Missy became the athlete she is today, a six-time Olympic medalist, five of them gold. Since her Olympic debut in London’s 2012 games—when Missy was just seventeen—people who have met the Franklins or seen them on TV have wondered what it was like to raise such a champion.”

In the Water They Can’t See You Cry

by Amanda Beard, Rebecca Paley // Amazon // Audiobook
“At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.”

Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory

by P. H. Mullen Jr. // Amazon
“In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father’s path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks.”

Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian

by Anthony Ervin, Constantine Markides // Kindle
“Anthony Ervin is an Olympic swimmer who won the gold at nineteen—and that may be one of the least interesting things about him. This blend of memoir and biography, written by Ervin in collaboration with trainer Constantine Markides, is part spiritual quest, part self-destructive bender involving Zen temples, fast motorcycles, tattoo parlors, and rock ‘n’ roll bands—revealing the journey that preceded his remarkable 2016 Olympic comeback as the oldest individual gold medal winner in swimming.”

Golden Girl: How Natalie Coughlin Fought Back, Challenged Conventional Wisdom, and Became America’s Olympic Champion

by Michael Silver, Natalie Coughlin // Kindle
“The story of Natalie Coughlin’s remarkable battle back from injury and burnout to be-come America’s Golden Girl. A two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner in swimming and the most decorated female athlete at the 2004 Olympics. After becoming, at age 15, the first person ever to qualify for all 14 women’s events at the U.S. Nationals, she seemed destined to follow the path of so many other young swimming stars—devoured by an oppressive training schedule. She made the crucial choice to train with University of California coach Teri McKeever. Together the two, star and coach, have defied long-standing training methods. Forcing the swimming community to rethink the ways in which it treats its talent. ”

Blueprint: An Olympian’s Story of Striving, Adapting, and Embracing the Suck

by Katie Hoff, Richard Bader
Kindle // Audiobook
“A candid account of the extraordinary life and athletic journey of one of America’s greatest athletes and a champion in every way. The remarkable story of two-time Olympian Katie Hoff.”

Body Lengths

by Leisel Jones // Kindle // Audiobook
“Leisel Jones is rightly regarded as one of the greatest breaststrokers ever. At just fifteen, she won two silver medals at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. She went on to win gold at Athens and Beijing. And at London 2012 became the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympics. For the first time, Leisel candidly describes what it’s like to be thrust into the limelight so young. She reveals the constant pressure she was under – from coaches, from the media and from herself – to be perfect. In London, criticised in the media for her weight, and appalled by the bullying and dysfunction in the Australian swim team, Leisel nevertheless handled herself with great composure. She has emerged with maturity and good humour, having finally learnt how to be herself and live with confidence.”

Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life

by Dara Torres, Elizabeth Weil // Kindle // Audiobook
“Dara Torres captured the hearts and minds of Americans of all ages when she launched her Olympic comeback as a new mother at the age of 41. Years after she had retired from competitive swimming and eight years since her last Olympics. Dara reveals how the dream of an Olympic comeback first came to her. With humor and candor, Dara recounts how she returned to serious training—while nursing her infant daughter and contending with her beloved father’s long battle with cancer.”

Happy Reading!!

Books About Olympic Swimming

Books About Olympic Swimming

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