Russian Olympian who became regarded as one of the greatest sprint freestyle swimmers in history after winning two gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona games.
He started swimming at the age of eight.
He was afraid of swimming when he first began training.
He married fellow Olympic swimmer Darya Shmeleva in 1997.
He became the first person since Johnny Weissmuller to repeat gold-medal victories in two successive Olympics, first in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and then in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.