Nikki Dryden

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameNicole "Nikki"•Dryden
Used nameNikki•Dryden
Born5 April 1975 in Calgary, Alberta (CAN)
Measurements188 cm / 72 kg
AffiliationsManitoba Marlins, Winnipeg (CAN) / Pacific Dolphins, Vancouver (CAN)
NOC Canada


Nikki Dryden joined the Canadian national swimming team in 1990 and, a year later, won her first major international medals, silver in the 100 and 200 metre backstroke and the 4x100 metre freestyle, at the Pan American Games. She was then selected for the 1992 Summer Olympics, where she competed in five events. She was sixth and eighth in the 4x100 medley and freestyle relays respectively, and 14th, 19th, and 23rd in the 100 m backstroke and 200 m freestyle and backstroke respectively. In 1993 she entered the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship and remained there through 1996, acquiring nine All-American distinctions. Along the way she earned medals in numerous World Cup events and captured bronze in the 800 metre freestyle event at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. In 1996 she was again chosen to represent Canada at the Olympics, and placed 14th in the 800 m freestyle. She transferred to Brown University following the Games and graduated in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, retiring from active competition around the same time. In 2005 Dryden earned her juris doctor from Brooklyn Law School and joined Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy in 2010 as an immigration and human rights attorney. She has also been heavily involved in several charitable organizations, most notably Right to Play and Swim Across America, and was a vocal critic of Russia’s anti-gay laws prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) CAN Nikki Dryden
200 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 19
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women (Olympic) Canada 8
100 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 14
200 metres Backstroke, Women (Olympic) 23
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Women (Olympic) Canada 6
1996 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) CAN Nikki Dryden
800 metres Freestyle, Women (Olympic) 14

Special Notes