Kevin Cordes

Kevin Cordes (born August 13, 1993) is an American competitive swimmer who specializes in the breaststroke. He was a member of the 2016 US Men's Olympic Swimming Team. He took 4th place in the Men's 100m Breaststroke at the 2016 Olympic Games.[1] He is the current American record holder in the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke (long course), and the 200-meter breaststroke (short course).

Kevin Cordes
Cordes in 2017
Personal information
Full nameKevin Cordes
National team United States
Born (1993-08-13) August 13, 1993
Naperville, Illinois, U.S.
Height1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb)
College teamUniversity of Arizona

Early life and education

Cordes was born in Naperville, Illinois in 1993, the son of Bill and Kristin Cordes. He is a 2011 graduate of Neuqua Valley High School and he graduated from the University of Arizona, where he was majoring in physiology. Swimming for the Arizona Wildcats, he was a six-time NCAA individual national champion, winning the 100-yard breaststroke four years in a row and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2013 and 2014. Cordes was the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Swimmer of the Year.


At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, Cordes missed qualifying for the Olympic team, finishing third in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:00.58) and twelfth in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:13.26).[2][3]

At the 2012 FINA Istanbul Short Course World Championships, his first major international competition, Cordes won a team gold medal and an individual bronze medal. The gold medal came his way in the Men's 4 × 100 meter medley relay, swimming the breaststroke leg in 57.15 (the fastest in the field). In the individual [2012 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) – Men's 100 meter breaststroke|100-meter breaststroke], Cordes won a bronze medal with a time of 57.83.

At the 2013 US National Championships, Cordes qualified to compete in the individual 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, and the 4×100-meter medley relay at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. At the National Championships, he was first in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, and finished second behind University Of Arizona teammate Kevin Steel in the 50-meter breaststroke.

At the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, Cordes competed in three individual events and the 4x100-meter medley relay. In his first event, the 100-meter breaststroke, Cordes got a personal best time of 59.78 in the semifinal. In the finals however, he faded away and touched 7th with a time of 1:00.02.[4] In the 50-meter breaststroke, Cordes did not advance past the prelims, posting a time of 27.69 and finishing 21st overall.[5] In his final individual event, the 200-meter breaststroke, Cordes did not advance past the semifinals, finishing with a time of 2:10.03.[6] In the 4x100-meter medley relay, Cordes, as the breaststroke leg, was responsible for disqualifying the United States by diving 0.04 of a second early.[7]

At the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Cordes won gold as a member of the 4x100-meter medley relay with the team finishing with a time of 3:29.94. Swimming the breaststroke leg, Cordes recorded a split of 58.64. In the 100-meter breaststroke, Cordes was disqualified for taking off his goggles midway through the race after they filled with water. In the 200-meter breaststroke, Cordes scratched from the final after posting a time of 2:10.01 in the heats in order to concentrate on the medley relay.

Cordes trained in Singapore with former Bolles swimming head coach, Sergio Lopez.

At the 2016 US Olympic Swimming Trials, Cordes placed first in the 100m breaststroke, qualifying him for the Olympic Team.[8] Subsequently, at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Cordes won his first Olympic medal - a gold - as a member of the US 4x100-meter medley relay. He placed 4th in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 59.22, and 8th in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:08.34.[9]

Personal bests

As of July 31, 2017
Long course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
50 m breaststroke26.76 2015 World Championships August 4, 2015 AM
100 m breaststroke58.64 2017 World Championships July 23, 2017 AM
200 m breaststroke2:07.41 2017 USA Nationals June 28, 2017
Short course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
100 m breaststroke56.88 2013 Duel in the Pool December 21, 2013 Former AM
200 m breaststroke2:02.38 2013 Duel in the Pool December 20, 2013 Former AM

Personal life

Cordes has two siblings, Caroline and Jack. His father Bill played football for the University of Arizona. His sister Caroline played volleyball for the University of Arizona.[10] His brother Jack played basketball for Hillsdale College.[11]

See also


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