Robert Finke

Robert Finke OLY (born November 6, 1999) is an American swimmer. He won two gold medals for the United States in the 2020 Summer Olympics: the men's 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle swims.

Robert Finke
Josh and Bobby at FAU vs UF Swim Meet 2018.jpg
Finke (right) at a swim meet
Personal information
Full nameRobert Christian Finke
Born (1999-11-06) November 6, 1999 (age 22)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight172 lb (78 kg)
StrokesDistance freestyle, individual medley
ClubSaint Petersburg Aquatics
College teamUniversity of Florida[1]
CoachAnthony Nesty
Medal record
Men's swimming
Representing the  United States
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 2 0 0
Total 2 0 0
Men's swimming
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2020 Tokyo 800 m freestyle
Gold medal – first place 2020 Tokyo 1500 m freestyle
Representing the Florida Gators
Florida Gators logo.svg
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
NCAA Championships 2 0 0
Total 2 0 0
By race
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
1500 y freestyle 1 0 0
400 y medley 1 0 0
Total 2 0 0
NCAA Championships
NCAA logo.svg
Gold medal – first place 2021 Greensboro 1500 y freestyle
Gold medal – first place 2021 Greensboro 400 y medley

Finke is known to his friends by the nickname, Bobby. He currently swims for the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Before swimming in college, Bobby swam for Coach Fred Lewis on the Saint Petersburg Aquatics club team (also known as SPA), located in Saint Petersburg, Florida.


Early careerEdit

At 14 years old, Finke broke the Florida Age Group State Championships (FLAGS) 800m freestyle meet record with a time of 8:25.20. He proceeded to break the 1500m freestyle meet record, dropping over 15 seconds, for a time of 15:56.82. Finke also won the USA Swimming Open Water Junior Nationals by finishing first of all swimmers under 18 years of age. Finke was finished seventh overall in a field that included both the pro open water swimmers as well as collegiate swimmers.[2]

High school careerEdit

Finke graduated from Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida, where he competed with his high school team. He also swam club for Saint Petersburg Aquatics, where he was coached by Fred Lewis. Finke accomplished much during his high school years. Finke became a Team USA World Championship qualifier at FINA in 2017, and a member of the USA Swimming National team. At the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships Finke finished second in the 1,500-meter freestyle in 14:55.34. Finke posted the third-fastest time ever in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships with a mark of 14:48.79. He also became a two-time NISCA All-American and a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-America. Finke also was a state champion in several swimming events in Florida's Division 4A. Entering college, Finke was ranked the No. 18-ranked recruit overall, and No. 1 swimmer in the state of Florida for the 2018 class.[3]

College careerEdit

Robert Finke is currently swimming for the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Finke helped the Florida Gators swimming and diving men's team at the University of Florida score lots of points in their 2019, 2020, and 2021 Conference Championship meets. Finke's head coach is Anthony Nesty. During his time at University of Florida, Finke earned a plethora of accolades. Some of these accolades are Four-time All-American, 2020 All-SEC First Team, 2020 SEC Champion (1,650 Free), 2020 SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2019 SEC Champion (1,650 free and 400 IM), 2019 All-SEC First-Team, 2019 Co-SEC Freshmen Swimmer of the Year, and 2019 SEC All-Freshman team.[3]

2021 Olympic TrialsEdit

In 2021 Finke became one of 53 swimmers named to represent the US at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.[4] He qualified in both the men's 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle, placing first in both events.[5][6]

2020 Summer OlympicsEdit

2020 Summer Olympics
  800 metre freestyle 7:41.87 (NR)
  1500 metre freestyle 14:39.65

In his first Olympic event, Finke won the gold in the men’s 800m freestyle, setting a new American record with a time of 7:41.87.[7] He also placed first in the men's 1500m freestyle with a time of 14:39:65,[8] making him the first American man to win the event since 1984.[9] In the finals of both events, Finke was behind with 50 meters to go, but made a last-minute surge to win.[10][11] He swam the final 50 meters of the 1500 in just 25.78 seconds, more than a full second faster than any split by any other swimmer in the finals.[12] It was also faster than any competitor's final lap in the men's 200m finals[13] and more than half a second faster than the 26.39 seconds for his own final 50 meters in the 800m.[14]


Finke's time of 7:41.87 at the 2020 Olympic Games in the men's 800m freestyle is an American record. His time of 14:12.08 in the men's 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2020 SEC Championships is also an American record.

Personal bestsEdit

Short course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
1,650 yd freestyle 14:12.08 2020 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 18-22, 2020 NR
1,000 yd freestyle 8:34.63 2020 SEC Championships Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 18-22, 2020


Long course
Event Time Meet Date Note(s)
1500 m freestyle 14:39.65 2020 Tokyo Olympics July 31, 2021
800 m freestyle 7:41.87 2020 Tokyo Olympics July 28, 2021 NR

Personal lifeEdit

Finke was born in Tampa, Florida on November 6, 1999. Finke's mother Jeanne swam for Ball State, while his father Joe is a swim coach with Saint Petersburg Aquatics. Finke also has two older sisters: Autumn Skye Finke, who swam for the University of Florida, and Ariel Summer Finke, who swam for Florida State University.


  1. ^ "Florida Secures Verbal Commitment from In-state Standout Robert Finke (#7)". SwimSwam. October 14, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "Finke, Robert". Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Finke Gator Profile". Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "Meet the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team for Tokyo | NBC Olympics". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "U.S. Olympic Team Trials: Day 8 Finals". Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  7. ^ Branch, John (July 29, 2021). "Bobby Finke of the United States wins the first Olympic 800 men's freestyle in over 100 years". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "Swimming FINKE Robert - Tokyo 2020 olympics". Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  9. ^ "American Bobby Finke wins Olympic gold medal in men's 1,500-meter freestyle". Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  10. ^ ""Florida's Bobby Finke wins Olympic gold medal in men's 1,500 freestyle with another late rally"". Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  11. ^ ""Team USA's Bobby Finke pulled off a jaw-dropping comeback to win first-ever men's 800m freestyle Olympic gold"". July 29, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  12. ^ Keh, Andrew (August 1, 2021). "Bobby Finke's Big Finish Surprises Himself, and His Rivals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Brennan, Christine. "American Bobby Finke wins Olympic gold medal in men's 1,500-meter freestyle". USA TODAY. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Svrluga, Barry (July 29, 2021). "With an epic final length, Bobby Finke wins unexpected gold in the 800 meters". Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  15. ^ ""2020-21 Men's Swimming & Diving Roster"". Retrieved August 2, 2021.

External linksEdit