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Swimming Champions Scramble Squares®
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Fascinating Facts about Swimming Champions Scramble Squares®
Swimming is both a recreation and a sport, and Americans excel at both.

Since the 1956 Olympic Games, American swimmers have earned more Olympic medals than any other country and often more medals than the rest of the world combined! America's Olympic champions are often the standard-bearers for future generations of swimming stars.

John Naber earned five medals at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal (four gold and one silver). He was undefeated in backstroke at the national and international level for four consecutive years, and his backstroke world records lasted seven years following his retirement.

Janet Evans is known for her distance events (her three world records in the 400, 800 and 1500 meters freestyle from 1988 and 1989 are still the global marks today) but in the 1988 Games, she also earned a gold medal in the 400 meter Individual Medley, where she swam all four strokes, including the breaststroke. Evans swam in three Olympic Games and earned a total of four gold medals and one silver medal.

Mary T. Meagher was nicknamed “Madame Butterfly” when she shattered the world record in that stroke at the 1981 US Nationals, swimming the 200 meter event faster than half of the men competing at that meet. Had she been allowed to swim at the “boycotted” Olympic Games in Russia in 1980, she likely would have twice the three gold medals she earned at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Rowdy Gaines is America's most popular freestyle sprinter, and is still very active in his sport. Like Mary T. Meagher, he bounced back from the disappointment of the boycott to earn three gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Remarkably, twelve years later, after overcoming a life-threatening illness, Rowdy qualified to compete at the Olympic Trials. You will likely hear his voice during any televised swimming event. In 2005 he was inducted into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame (along with joining Naber and Evans).

The four swimmers who appear on this puzzle epitomize America's success in the Olympics in the four competitive strokes, having a combined total of 16 medals in Olympic swimming competition.

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