Anthony Ervin’s 16 Years between Gold Medals

Anthony Ervin won a gold medal tonite in the 50 metre freestyle, 16 years after he had won an individual gold medal in the same event at Sydney in 2000. This 16-year gap between gold medals, or medals, is unusual in Olympic history but this has occurred before. Here is where this unusual Phoenix-like gold medal puts Ervin in Olympic perspective, first looking only at swimmers:

  • Among swimmers, Ervin ties Dara Torres with her 16-years between gold medals in 1984 and 2000
  • In swimming, 16 years between individual medals ties by the mark set by Frank Beaurepaire (AUS, 1908-24)
  • His mark of 16 years between individual swimming golds betters the mark held by Michael Phelps, from 2004-16, and Phelps didn’t hold that too long, did he?

Now in all sports, the mark is not that unusual for years between 1st and last medal but the gap of 16 years is. This is where it puts Ervin on various Olympic lists, including all sports.

  • His 16-year gap between medals ties the USA mark held by Jonathan McKee in sailing (1984/2000), Miguel de Capriles in fencing (1932/1948), and Earl Thomson in equestrian (1932/1948)
  • His 16-year gap between gold medals ties the USA mark held by Earl Thomson in equestrian (1932/1948).
  • His 16-year gap between gold medals is 4th all-time, all nations, behind Hubert Van Innis (BEL-ARC, 1900/1920), Lars Jørgen Madsen (DEN-SHO, 1900/1920), and Manlio Di Rosa (ITA-FEN, 1936/1956), all with 20.
  • His 16-year gap between individual medals is 4th all-time, all nations, behind Hubert Van Innis (BEL-ARC, 1900/1920), Hiroshi Yamamoto (JPN-ARC, 1984/2004), and Nino Salukvadze (GEO/URS-SHO, 1988/2008).
  • His 16-year gap between individual gold medals is 2nd all-time, all nations, behind Hubert Van Innis (BEL-ARC, 1900/1920). The previous USA best was 8 years held by 10 Olympians.

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