Inge de Bruijn

Inge de Bruijn (Dutch: [ˈɪŋə də ˈbrœyn]; born 24 August 1973) is a Dutch former competitive swimmer. She is a four-time Olympic champion and a former world record-holder.

Inge de Bruijn
De Bruijn in 2008
Personal information
Full nameInge de Bruijn
National team Netherlands
Born (1973-08-24) 24 August 1973
Barendrecht, Netherlands
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight60 kg (132 lb; 9 st 6 lb)
StrokesFreestyle, butterfly


De Bruijn was born in Barendrecht, Netherlands. Inge is the sister of Olympic water polo player Matthijs de Bruijn.

Swimming career

De Bruijn tried several sports before eventually specializing in swimming. De Bruijn debuted at the World Aquatics Championships in January 1991, winning a bronze medal with the 4×100 m relay team, with which she won the gold medal at the European LC Championships in August of that year.

The following year, de Bruijn made her Olympic debut at the 1992 Summer Olympics, and finished 8th in the 100 m and 4×100 m freestyle events. She did not compete at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In 1999, she won the 50 m freestyle at the European Championships. The following year, after having swum several 50 m freestyle world records, she competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She won the 50 and 100 m freestyle, and the 100 m butterfly, setting world records in all three events. She also won a silver medal with the 4×100 m freestyle relay team. Her nickname became "Invincible Inky".

She was named by Swimming World as the "Female World Swimmer of the Year" in both 2000 and 2001. She won titles in three events at the 2001 World Championships. At the 2003 World Championships, de Bruijn successfully defended her 50 m freestyle and butterfly titles. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens she defended her gold medal in the 50 m free, and took silver in the 100 m free, and two bronze: one in the 100 m butterfly and another in the 4×100 m relay. This made her the oldest individual champion in Olympic swimming history. This record was only surpassed by Anthony Ervin at the age of 36, he won the gold medal for the men's 50m freestyle at the Rio 2016 Olympics. De Bruijn's 2004 title retains its place as the oldest female Olympic champion in swimming history.

With an Olympic medal total of four gold, two silver and two bronze, she is the tied second most successful Dutch Olympian of all time. Moreover, her combined nine individual titles won at the Olympics (four) and World Aquatics Championships (five) were a record for female swimmers until Katie Ledecky won her 10th at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

In March 2007, de Bruijn announced her retirement from competitive swimming.

International championships (50 m)

Meet 50 free 100 free 50 fly 100 fly 4×100 free 4×100 medley
EC 1991
WC 199110th8th4th
OG 19928th9th5th[a]8th
EC 199312th4th7th
WC 19947th6th
EC 19954th4th6th
OG 1996
EC 1997
WC 19988th7th5th6th
EC 19994th4th
EC 2000
OG 2000
WC 2001
EC 2002
WC 2003
EC 20046th
OG 20046th
a de Bruijn swam only in the heats

Post-swimming career

De Bruijn resides in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and previously trained in Portland, Oregon.

She was the face for Dutch lingerie brand Sapph, along with kickboxer Remy Bonjasky, the face for the men's line of the brand.[4]

She appeared in a special episode of the Dutch naked dating reality television programme Adam Zkt. Eva VIP.

See also


  1. "ESPN Sydney Swimming". Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  2. "2004 Olympic Games swimming results". CNN. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
  3. "2003 World Championships – Short Course Swim Rankings results". Retrieved 24 July 2007.
  4. "Modellen dansen op het IJs" Archived 7 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 4 February 2011, Glamour (in Dutch)
Preceded by
Le Jingyi
Women's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

4 June 2000 – 24 March 2008
Succeeded by
Marleen Veldhuis
Preceded by
Le Jingyi
Women's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

28 May 2000 – 31 March 2004
Succeeded by
Libby Trickett
Preceded by
Record installed
Women's 50 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)

18 June 1999 – 1 July 1999
Succeeded by
Anna-Karin Kammerling
Preceded by
Anna-Karin Kammerling
Women's 50 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)

20 May 2000 – 30 July 2002
Succeeded by
Anna-Karin Kammerling
Preceded by
Jenny Thompson
Women's 100 metre butterfly
world record holder (long course)

27 May 2000 – 26 July 2009
Succeeded by
Sarah Sjöström
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Leontien van Moorsel
Dutch Sportswoman of the Year
Succeeded by
Verona van de Leur
Preceded by
Penny Heyns
World Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
Natalie Coughlin
Preceded by
Ágnes Kovács
European Swimmer of the Year
Succeeded by
Franziska van Almsick
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