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Rick Carey

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 3
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRichard John "Rick"•Carey
Used nameRick•Carey
Born13 March 1963 in Mount Kisco, New York (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 82 kg
AffiliationsTexas Longhorns, Austin (USA)
NOC United States


Rick Carey was the greatest backstroke swimmer in the world in the early 1980s. At four consecutive major internationals – the 1982 World Championships, the 1983 Pan Americans, the 1984 Olympics, and the 1985 Pan Pacifics – Carey won the backstroke triple, winning gold in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, and the medley relay. In 1983 he was named Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World. At the 1984 Olympics, after winning the 200 backstroke, Carey was sullen in a televised interview because he had not broken the world record, was chastised in the press for his attitude, and then apologized to the American public in his next interview after winning the 100.

During his career Carey set nine world records, including five individual world marks, three in the 100 in 1983, and two in the 200, his final world record coming at the 1984 US Olympic Trials. He also set 27 American records and won seven NCAA titles while swimming at the University of Texas. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1993.

Carey stopped swimming competitively after the 1985 Pan Pacs and went back to school at Iona College, earning degrees in mathematics and computer science in 1987. He eventually entered the financial world, working with Merrill Lynch, UBS, and JP Morgan Chase in both New York and London.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Rick Carey
100 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1984 Summer Olympics 31 July 1984 Swimming (Aquatics) 200 metres Backstroke, Men Round One, Heat Five 1:58.99 1
1984 Summer Olympics 4 August 1984 Swimming (Aquatics) 100 metres Backstroke, Men Final 55.41 1
1984 Summer Olympics 4 August 1984 Swimming (Aquatics) 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay, Men Final 3:39.30 WR 1

Special Notes