No fewer than four athletes at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA moved up into the list of the top ten of all time. Two more made it into the top twenty.
The Belgian speed skater BART SWINGS made a really big leap forward. Ranked twentieth before TWG 2022, Bart moves up to fourth place. 8 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze won at three TWG editions have made it happen. Also new to the all-time top ten are German life-saver DANNY WIECK (6/1/2) in fifth place, fellow athlete MAGALI ROUSSEAU (6/1/1) from France in sixth place and Hungarian PETRA SENANSZKY (Finswimming/Life Saving - /5/3/0) in ninth place.
BART SWINGS was also the most successful male athlete at TWG 2022. The 31-year-old won 4 gold medals and a bronze medal in Birmingham. These were his third Games after Cali, Colombia in 2013 and Wroclaw, Poland in 2017. In terms of gold medal count, BART SWINGS caught up with STEVE RAJEFF of the USA (Casting) and SERGUEI AKHAPOV of Russia. Both also won 8 golds and retired from TWG after Duisburg, Germany in 2005.
The most successful female athlete at the Games this year in Alabama was JOHANA VIVEROS MONDRAGON. The speed skater from Colombia was also the best athlete overall at the Games, winning 4 gold medals and 1 silver. The success puts her in fourteenth place in the all-time best list. Together with her medals at the Wroclaw Games, she now has 5 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. JOHANA VIVEROS MONDRAGON shares 14th place with French lifeguard JUSTINE WEYDERS, who won a bronze medal in Birmingham.
But back to the all-time top ten: PETRA SENANSZKY achieved 3 golds and 2 silvers to jump to ninth place. Particularly impressive and absolutely unique, she won her medals in two different sports. Twice gold and once silver were in Finswimming, once gold and once silver in Life Saving. MAGALI ROUSSEAU, most successful female athlete at the 2013 Cali Games, added to her medal collection with once gold and once silver in Birmingham. That was enough for sixth place in the all-time ranking. DANNY WIECK from Germany, also a finswimmer, secured fifth place thanks to 2 gold and 1 silver medal at the 2022 Games.
By the way: The most successful athlete of all time at The World Games is the German JÜRGEN KOLENDA, who won a total of 11 gold medals in Finswimming at the 1981 Games in Santa Clara, USA and in London, Great Britain in 1985.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN in 2025.