Rick Carey
Personal information
Full nameRichard John Carey
National teamUnited States
Born (1963-03-13) March 13, 1963 (age 58)
Mount Kisco, New York
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight180 lb (82 kg)
ClubBadger Swim Club
College teamUniversity of Texas
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing the United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 100 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 200 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles 4x100 m medley
World Championships (LC)
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 200 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1982 Guayaquil 4x100 m medley
Silver medal – second place 1982 Guayaquil 100 m backstroke
Pan Pacific Games
Gold medal – first place 1985 Tokyo 100 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1985 Tokyo 200 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1985 Tokyo 4x100 m medley
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 100 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 200 m backstroke
Gold medal – first place 1983 Caracas 4x100 m medley

Richard John Carey (born March 13, 1963) is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in three events. Carey specialized in the backstroke. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he won three gold medals. He broke nine world records, five individually, and also was a double world champion.[1] He was named as the Swimmer of the Year in 1983 by Swimming World magazine.


Carey was selected to make his international debut at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but had to withdraw when the United States boycotted the Olympics at Jimmy Carter's insistence due to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. In 1981 Carey was the American champion in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke, setting a national record in the latter, after moving to the University of Texas at Austin to train under coach Eddie Reese. In 1982 he collected gold in the 200-meter backstroke and 4×100-meter medley relay, and silver in the 100-meter backstroke at the World Championships in Guayaguil, Ecuador.

In 1983, Carey set world records of 55.38 seconds in the 100-meter and 1:58.93 in the 200-meter backstroke, breaking marks set in 1976 by John Naber. At the 1983 Pan American Games that year in Caracas, Venezuela, he lowered the 100-meter record to 55.19 seconds and he also won the 200-meter event. He also broke the world record in the 4×100-meter medley relay, along with Steve Lundquist, Matt Gribble and Rowdy Gaines, all of whom were world record-holders in their respective strokes. This earned him the Swimmer of the Year award.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics, he won both backstroke events and again was part of the winning medley relay team. Carey created a minor controversy after his victory in the 200-meter backstroke, when despite winning Olympic gold, he appeared noticeably unhappy about having failed to break his own world record time. He later apologized and responded much more positively to his 100-meter win, despite the fact that it too fell short of his own world record. He continued to win events at a national level thereafter, retiring in 1986. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Swimmer" in 1993.[1]

According to his Linked-In profile, Carey now works for UBS in New York City.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Rick Carey (USA). Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  2. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/rickcarey

Records Preceded byJohn Naber Men's 100-meter backstrokeworld record-holder (long course)August 6, 1983 – March 15, 1988 Succeeded byIgor Polyansky Preceded byJohn Naber Men's 200-meter backstrokeworld record-holder (long course)August 3, 1983 – August 21, 1984 Succeeded bySergei Zabolotnov Awards Preceded byVladimir Salnikov Swimming WorldSwimmer of the Year1983 Succeeded byAlex Baumann