Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Natalie Coughlin misses Olympic team, not retiring

Natalie Coughlin

SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 04: Natalie Coughlin looks on after the 50m freestyle during day two of the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Santa Clara at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 4, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Natalie Coughlin, who shares the U.S. female Olympic record with 12 medals, missed the Rio Olympic team but is not retiring at age 33, according to reports.

Coughlin finished eighth in the 100m backstroke and 14th in the 100m freestyle at the Olympic Trials this week. She scratched out of her final event, the 50m freestyle.

Coughlin has an impressive record of earning a medal in every single one of her Olympic events in three Games. Only she and Finnish distance running legend Paavo Nurmi have entered at least 12 Olympic events and earned medals in all of them.

After taking five medals in 2004 and six in 2008, Coughlin barely made the 2012 Olympic team, as a 4x100m free relay swimmer, and earned a bronze medal for competing in the preliminary heats. That tied her with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson for not only the U.S. female record, but also the female swimmer record for most medals.

In 2014, Coughlin failed to qualify for the 2015 World Championships.

But last summer she swam a 100m backstroke (leading off a relay) in 59.05 seconds, the fastest by an American for the year and her best time since winning her second straight Olympic title in 2008.

She couldn’t replicate it in Omaha, clocking 1:00.46 and 1:00.48 in the semis and final.

MORE: The code to Katie Ledecky’s goals in Rio