Three-time Olympic gold medalist and NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines discusses his predictions for the Tokyo Olympics, including how he thinks Katie Ledecky will perform, why he thinks Ledecky is the greatest female swimmer in history and what he expects from the U.S. men’s swim team.


NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines says Katie Ledecky “is definitely one that is going to win a lot of medals” at this year’s Summer Games. “If she doesn’t take another stroke for the rest of her career, I think without a doubt she’s the greatest female swimmer in history. Nobody’s even in her ballpark, but she will take a lot more strokes…She’s got a chance to win a lot of medals.” (Washington Post Live)
NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines says this is the first time since 1996 that Michael Phelps won’t be in the pool for the U.S. Men’s Olympic team. He added that while this year’s team is flying under the radar, the U.S. has been number one in swimming for over six decades. “It’s a shock to the American system because we’re so used to seeing Michael out there. But USA swimming has been number one in the world since 1956…No other team or sport can claim that kind of dominance. I certainly expect the men to win the most medals and I think they’ll win the most gold medals.” (Washington Post Live)
NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines says he feels very safe in Tokyo, explaining that the Japanese government and the Olympic organizers are doing everything they can to make it the “safest and securest Olympics” ever. (Washington Post Live)

Rowdy Gaines

Rowdy Gaines serves as a swimming analyst for the Tokyo Olympics. Gaines has contributed to NBC Sports Group’s Olympic swimming coverage since the 1992 Barcelona Games with historic calls, having most recently served as swimming analyst at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Gaines will also serve as an analyst for this summer’s open water swim competition in Tokyo.

A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Gaines was one of the world’s fastest swimmers in the 1980s. He set world records in the 100-meter freestyle in 1981, the 200-meter freestyle in 1982 and capped off his phenomenal career by winning three gold medals for the United States at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. After entering the 1984 Olympic trials as a “past his prime” long-shot to make the team, he set an Olympic record in the 100-meter freestyle, and helped establish a world record by anchoring the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team. He completed the gold medal triple by swimming the freestyle anchor of the 4×100-meter medley, again setting Olympic and world records.