Inge de Bruijn
De Bruijn in 2008
|Full name||Inge de Bruijn|
24 August 1973 |
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||60 kg (130 lb; 9.4 st)|
De Bruijn tried several sports before eventually specializing in swimming. De Bruijn debuted at the World Aquatics Championships in January 1991, winning a bronze medal with the 4×100 m relay team, with which she won the gold medal at the European LC Championships in August of that year.
The following year, de Bruijn made her Olympic debut at the 1992 Summer Olympics, and finished 8th in the 100 m and 4×100 m freestyle events. She did not compete at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In 1999, she won the 50 m freestyle at the European Championships. The following year, after having swum several 50 m freestyle world records, she competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She won the 50 and 100 m freestyle, and the 100 m butterfly, setting world records in all three events. She also won a silver medal with the 4×100 m freestyle relay team. Her nickname became "Invincible Inky".
She was named by Swimming World as the "Female World Swimmer of the Year" in both 2000 and 2001. She won titles in three events at the 2001 World Championships. At the 2003 World Championships, de Bruijn successfully defended her 50 m freestyle and butterfly titles. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens she defended her gold medal in the 50 m free, and took silver in the 100 m free, and two bronze: one in the 100 m butterfly and another in the 4×100 m relay. This made her the oldest individual champion in Olympic swimming history. This record was only surpassed by Anthony Ervin at the age of 36, he won the gold medal for the men's 50m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Olympics. De Bruijn's 2004 title retains its place as the oldest female Olympic champion in swimming history.
With an Olympic medal total of four gold, two silver and two bronze, she is the second most successful Dutch Olympian of all time. Moreover, her combined nine individual titles won at the Olympics (four) and World Aquatics Championships (five) were a record for female swimmers until Katie Ledecky won her 10th at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
In March 2007, de Bruijn announced her retirement from competitive swimming.
- List of Dutch records in swimming
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists at a single Games
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of top Olympic gold medalists in swimming
- List of individual gold medalists in swimming at the Olympics and World Aquatics Championships (women)
- World record progression 50 metres freestyle
- World record progression 100 metres freestyle
- "ESPN Sydney Swimming". Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- "2004 Olympic Games swimming results". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "2003 World Championships – Short Course Swim Rankings results". Retrieved 2007-07-24.
- "Modellen dansen op het IJs", 4 February 2011, Glamour (Dutch)
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