Photos of world-class Olympic swimmers

For the past 11 years I’ve received photographer credentials for the annual Santa Clara Arena Pro Swim series, the last major swim meet leading up to the U.S. Nationals, under the auspices of USA Swimming. I’ve generally shot these for Swimming World magazine.

You don’t get a chance to yak it up at length with these world-class Olympic athletes — after all, they’re there to compete — but it’s been fun to exchange a few words with Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and some of the other swimming greats. If you watch the Olympics, you’ll be familiar with many of these names. Here are some of my favorite shots:

  • Michael Phelps during the 200-meter butterfly 2009
  • Miss Franklin backstroke 2014
  • autograph seekers 2016
  • Nathan Adrian after winning 50m-free 2016
  • Australian swim great Emma McKeon 2016
  • Missy Franklin embraces Kendyl Stewart after 200m backstroke 2013
  • Michael Phelps on way to winning 100m butterfly
  • Backstroke 2013
  • Ryan Lochte takes photo with fan 2013
  • Bronte Barratt 2011
  • Allie Day & Fernanda Gonzalez 2013
  • Michael Phelps signs autographs 2014
  • Laura Sogar signs autographs after 200m fly 2015
  • Julia Smit in 200 backstroke 2011
  • Elizabeth Beisel 2010
  • Girls in Santa Clara Swim Club 2015
  • Ryan Lochte 2013
  • Gold Rush 2012
  • Backstroke, 2010
  • Kevin Cordes in 200 breaststroke 2013
  • Laura Sogar after winning 200 breaststroke 2013
  • Madeline Groves in 200m fly 2016
  • Matt Grevers before 100 freestyle 2013
  • Maya DiRadio of Stanford 2016
  • Michael Phelps before 200m freestyle 2014
  • Missy Franklin poses for me 2014
  • Nathan Adrian after winning 100 freestyle 2013
  • Olympians Stephanie Rice, left, and Bronte Barratt 2011
  • Ryan Lochte breaststroke in 400 IM 2013
  • Start of women's 100m backstroke 2016
  • Sun Yang after winning 200 free 2016
  • UCLA Bruin 2014
  • Young swim fans 2015

I don’t have the heavy-duty equipment of the photographers shooting for the Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters or San Jose Mercury News, but my Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200mm telephoto lens gets me by.

For a complete look, here are my swim meet photo galleries on Flickr:

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JD Lasica
Written by JD Lasica
JD Lasica is an entrepreneur, author, journalist, photographer and blogger. | CONTACT