U.S. swimmer Natalie Coughlin

American

swimmer Natalie Coughlin won her 12th Olympic medal and is now tied with Dara

Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated female athlete of the nation. And

she did this all without participating in the final round of the 400 meter

freestyle relay. The U.S. team won the bronze after finishing behind the

Netherlands and first-place winner Australia, but Coughlin only participated in

the morning preliminaries to lead the younger athletes to the final. --By Paul Rosales

Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) prepares to compete in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Olympics: Swimming-Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay-Heats
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) prepares to compete in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) competes in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Olympics: Swimming-Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay-Heats
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) competes in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) competes in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Olympics: Swimming-Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay-Heats
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Natalie Coughlin (USA) competes in her leg of a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; The USA relay team of Lia Neil , Amanda Weir , Natalie Coughlin and Allison Schmitt during a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Olympics: Swimming-Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay-Heats
Jul 28, 2012; London, United Kingdom; The USA relay team of Lia Neil , Amanda Weir , Natalie Coughlin and Allison Schmitt during a women's 4x100m freestyle relay heat during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA swimmers Brendan Hensen and Jessica Hardy and Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin and Tyler Clary pose for a photograph during a press conference at Speedo Club at Forman's Fish Island. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Olympics: Swimming-Speedo Media Day
Jul 25, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA swimmers Brendan Hensen and Jessica Hardy and Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin and Tyler Clary pose for a photograph during a press conference at Speedo Club at Forman's Fish Island. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Ryan Lochte (L) and Natalie Coughlin (R) of the USA Swim Team speak during a press conference at the Main Press Center on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Olympics - Previews - Day - 1
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Ryan Lochte (L) and Natalie Coughlin (R) of the USA Swim Team speak during a press conference at the Main Press Center on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Jun 29, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin walks off the pool deck after competing in the womens 100m freestyle semifinal in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE
Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials
Jun 29, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin walks off the pool deck after competing in the womens 100m freestyle semifinal in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Natalie Coughlin looks on as she prepares to compete in preliminary heat 17 of the Women's 100 m Backstroke during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials - Day 2
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Natalie Coughlin looks on as she prepares to compete in preliminary heat 17 of the Women's 100 m Backstroke during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
June 26, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the semifinal heat of womens 100m backstroke in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials
June 26, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the semifinal heat of womens 100m backstroke in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Natalie Coughlin competes in preliminary heat 17 of the Women's 100 m Backstroke during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials - Day 2
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 26: Natalie Coughlin competes in preliminary heat 17 of the Women's 100 m Backstroke during Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 26, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
June 25, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the finals for the women's 100m butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials
June 25, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the finals for the women's 100m butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
June 25, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the finals for the women's 100m butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials
June 25, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Natalie Coughlin competes in the finals for the women's 100m butterfly in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at the CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin swims in the warm up pool during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Santa Clara International Grand Prix - Day 2
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin swims in the warm up pool during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin competes in the 100 meter women's butterfly during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Santa Clara International Grand Prix - Day 2
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin competes in the 100 meter women's butterfly during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin swims in the warm up pool during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Santa Clara International Grand Prix - Day 2
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin swims in the warm up pool during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin competes in the 100 meter women's butterfly during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Santa Clara International Grand Prix - Day 2
SANTA CLARA, CA - JUNE 01: Natalie Coughlin competes in the 100 meter women's butterfly during day 2 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 1, 2012 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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