100 Olympic Tidbits: Olympic Bridesmaids

Three athletes – all of them swimmers – share the unofficial title of Olympic bridesmaid, that is, the athlete who was won the most number of silver medals without ever winning a gold.

They are German swimmer Franziska van Almsick, who won four silver medals and six bronze medals over the course of four Olympiads (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004), and Japanese synchronized swimmers Miho Takeda and Miya Tachibana, who teamed up to bag four silvers and a bronze in the Atlanta, Sydney and Athens Games.

Van Almsick had her first podium finish in Barcelona, winning silvers in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m medley and bronzes in the 100m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle. She won two more silvers in the 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle and one more bronze in the 4x100m freestyle in Atlanta. In Sydney she failed to win a silver for the first time and had to settle for the bronze in the 4x200m freestyle. She wrapped up her Olympic career in Athens with bronzes in the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle.

Takeda and Tachibana first won a medal in 1996 with a bronze in the team competition, then finished second in both the duet and team events in the next two Olympiads for a total of four silvers and one bronze.


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