Cesar Cielo

César Cielo Filho
Cielo after winning the 50 m freestyle at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Personal information
Full name César Augusto Cielo Filho
Nickname(s) Cesão
Nationality  Brazil
Born (1987-01-10) January 10, 1987 (age 27)
Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, São Paulo, Brazil
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle, Butterfly
Club Esporte Clube Pinheiros/Auburn Aquatics
College team Auburn Tigers (2005–2008)

César Cielo Filho (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛzɐɾ si.ˈelu ˈfiʎu], born January 10, 1987) is a Brazilian competitive swimmer who specializes in sprint events. He is the most successful Brazilian swimmer in history, having obtained three Olympic medals, winning six individual World Championship gold medals and breaking two world records.[1]

Cielo is the current world record holder in the 100-metre and 50-metre freestyle (long course). His gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, in the 50-metre freestyle competition, is Brazil's only Olympic gold in swimming to date. In 2008, he broke the NCAA record in the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle (18.47 seconds) and in the 100-yard (91 m) freestyle (40.92 seconds). Cielo became the fastest swimmer in the world in the two distances, and was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row.[2][3] He is the current record holder of the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle.[4]

Early life

César Cielo was born on January 10, 1987 in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, São Paulo, Brazil. The son of pediatrician César Cielo and physical education teacher Flávia Cielo, Cielo began his athletic career at small swimming clubs in his native state. As a young teenager, Cielo trained under coach Mario Francisco Sobrinho at the Esporte Clube Barbarense, where his mother taught swimming. When he was 13, Cielo started training in Piracicaba at the Clube de Campo de Piracicaba under coach Reinaldo Rosa. At 16 years old, he transferred to Esporte Clube Pinheiros in São Paulo to train under coach Alberto Silva and Brazilian swimming legend Gustavo Borges. As a gift while at Esporte Clube Pinheiros, he received the swimsuit used by Borges in Athens 2004.[5][6][7]

Cielo was a childhood friend of André Schultz. When Cielo was a child, his father formed a group to organize and encourage swimming at Esporte Clube Barbarense. Werner Schultz, André Schultz's father, also belonged to the group. They began to create competitions and take the boys on trips. At one point, there were 500 people practicing swimming at the club, in a city, which almost 20 years later, has less than 200,000 inhabitants. Werner Schultz constructed a swimming pool with two Olympic lanes in the courtyard of his house, where Cielo used to train. Since childhood, Cielo could not bear to lose. Maria Schultz, mother of André Schultz, said, "He could not bear to lose. Several American coaches say this: that good swimmers like to win, and exceptional not afford to lose. Such is the case of Cesão." Cielo was so eager for victory that during the 1996 Summer Olympics, at nine years old, he was already studying his main reference, Russian Alexander Popov, through videos, noting details like his starts (block outputs) and turnarounds.[8]

Cielo started competing in backstroke. In the region at the time, Guilherme Guido stood out as the opponent to beat. Guido defeated Cielo repeatedly in freestyle, while Cielo won the backstroke events. However, at a certain point, Guido began to lose to freestyle opponents, and began competing in backstroke events. He defeated Cielo, who then decided not swim backstroke anymore. At age 15, Cielo attended a series of trainings in Florida, USA, and returned home, willing to defeat Guido. When Cielo and Guido were reunited in a 100m freestyle contest, Guido fell behind and lost. From then on, Guido focused on backstroke, reversing positions with Cielo.[8][9]

Collegiate career

In 2005, Cielo received a scholarship from Auburn University in the United States. He studied international trade with a specialization in Spanish. While there, Cielo competed for the eight-time NCAA National Champion Auburn Tigers swimming and diving team. At Auburn, he was trained by Brett Hawke, an Australian Olympic finalist swimmer in Athens. Hawke helped Cielo with his last months of preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Cielo was also tutored by short-distance specialist Fernando Scherer in 2008.[10] At Auburn, Cielo's scholarship contract was very strict, prohibiting him from drinking alcohol or taking girlfriends on a night out.[6]

Cielo holds the NCAA and U.S. Open record for the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle, set at the 2008 NCAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving Championships. At Auburn, Cielo won six National Championship events, including sweeping the 50 and 100 freestyle championships in 2007. Cielo gave up his fourth and final year of NCAA eligibility to become a professional swimmer.[2][6]

International career

2004 Short Course Swimming Championships

Cielo participated in his first major international tournament, the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m), in the city of Indianapolis, in October 2004. At the age of 17, he won the silver medal in the 4×100-metre freestyle event.[11] On a team with Guilherme Guido, Kaio Almeida and Eduardo Fischer,[12] he finished 4th in the 4×100-metre medley,[13] breaking the South American record with a time of 3:33.02. He also finished 6th in the 100-metre freestyle,[14] 10th in the 50-metre freestyle,[15] and 19th in the 50-metre backstroke.[16]


Cielo competed in the 2006 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in Shanghai, where he finished 5th in the 100-metre freestyle (only 17 hundredths of a second away from winning a medal)[17] and in the 4×100-metre freestyle events.[18] He also competed in the 4×200-metre freestyle,[19] where he broke the South American record with a time of 7:06:09, along with Rodrigo Castro, Thiago Pereira and Lucas Salatta.[20] In December, he began to stand out on the national scene, by breaking the South American record of Fernando Scherer in the 100-metre freestyle (48.69 seconds) which had stood since 1998. Cielo's time was 48.61 seconds, beeting the record by .08 seconds. At that moment, Cielo's was the fourth fastest time in the 2006 world ranking.[21]

Cielo was a finalist in the 2007 World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne, in the 100-metre freestyle (4th place, only 4 hundredths behind Eamon Sullivan, the bronze medalist, and 8 hundredths behind gold medalists Filippo Magnini and Brent Hayden),[22] 50-metre freestyle (6th) [23] and 4×100-metre freestyle (8th).[24] He also took 9th place in the 4×100-metre medley.[25] At that time, Cielo had established himself as the fastest Brazilian sprinter, by breaking the Fernando Scherer's South American record in the 50-metre freestyle.[26] In that event's semifinal, Cielo swam for 22.09 seconds, improving on Fernando Scherer's time, from in August 1998, by nine hundredths of a second.[27] He also broke his South American record in the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 48.51 seconds,[28] and the South American record of the 4×100-metre freestyle, with a time of 3:17.03, on a team with Thiago Pereira, Nicolas Oliveira and Rodrigo Castro.[29]

At the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Cielo won three gold medals in the 50-metre, 100-metre, and 4×100-metre freestyle events, and a silver medal in the 4×100-metre medley. In the 50-metre freestyle, he won the event with a time of 21.84 seconds, beating the Pan American Games record, and becoming the first swimmer from South America to swim it in under 22 seconds.[30] Cielo began to get close to the world record in the 50-metre freestyle, a time of 21.64 seconds, which at the time belonged to legendary swimmer Alexander Popov. He also broke the Pan Am Games and South American record in the 4×100-metre freestyle, with a time of 3:15.90, along with Fernando Silva, Eduardo Deboni and Nicolas Oliveira.[31] It the 100-metre freestyle, he broke the Pan Am Games record with his time of 48.79 seconds,[32] and in the 4×100-metre medley, he broke the South American record with a time of 3:35.81, along with Thiago Pereira, Henrique Barbosa and Kaio Almeida.[33][34]

In November 2007, at the Italy Grand Prix, Cielo broke the short-course South American record for the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 47.00 seconds.[35]


In February 2008, at the Missouri Grand Prix, Cielo improved his South American record in the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 48.49 seconds.[36] In April, at the Ohio Grand Prix, he broke the record again, with a time of 48.34 seconds, also defeating Michael Phelps.[37]

A month before the Olympics, in July 2008, he broke his South American record in the 50-metre freestyle, with a time of 21.75 seconds.[38]

Afterward, Cielo went to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where he broke the Americas record in the 4×100-metre freestyle heats, with a time of 47.91 seconds.[39] Although the Brazilian team was disqualified, Cielo's record was allowed to stand.[1] In the 100-metre freestyle, Cielo qualified for the final, taking eighth place in the heats, with a time of 48.07 seconds. Cielo excelled in the early part of the first semifinal, making his turn in second place, at 22.62 seconds, but finishing fifth.[40] In the final, Cielo adopted a different tactic, turning third, slower (22.74 seconds) than in the semifinals, and saving energy for the finish, which resulted in his winning the bronze medal and breaking the South American record with a time of 47.67 seconds (tied with American swimmer Jason Lezak). Alain Bernard won the gold medal and Eamon Sullivan won the silver. Shortly after winning the bronze medal, Cielo gave a statement to the Brazilian press, stating categorically: "Now I'm going to win the 50m".[41] In the 50-metre freestyle event, Cielo set the Olympic record, that Alexander Popov had set in the 1992 Summer Olympics, during the heats (21.47 seconds, equaling Garrett Weber-Gale's Americas record)[42][43] and in the semifinals (21.34 seconds).[44] He lowered this further in the finals, again breaking the Olympic record with a time of 21.30 seconds, winning the gold medal and missing the world record by 0.02 seconds. With this, he became the first Brazilian Olympic swimming champion.[45] Until Cielo's Olympic gold, the best Brazilian Olympic swimming result had been obtained by Ricardo Prado, who won the silver medal in the 400-metre individual medley at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and previously Gustavo Borges, who won the silver medal in the 100-metre freestyle at the 1992 Summer Olympics and in the 200-metre freestyle at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

After the Olympics, in October, in the first stage of the 2008 FINA Swimming World Cup, held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Cielo equaled the short-course South American record in the 50-metre freestyle, with a time of 21.32 seconds.[46]


Cielo trained at the Esporte Clube Pinheiros until 2009. He worked with Coach Albertinho at Pinheiros from 15 to 22 years old. On May 2009, Cielo broke the South American record in the 50-metre butterfly, but the record lasted only a few minutes. Cielo achieved a time of 23.49 seconds competing for the Maria Lenk Trophy but, in the next heat, Guilherme Roth swam a time of 23.46 seconds and established a new continental record.[47] In the final, Cielo regained the record with a time of 23.42 seconds.[48] In the same competition, he broke the South American record for the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 47.60 seconds.[49]

At the 2009 US World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, Cielo swam a time of 21.14 seconds in the B final of the 50-metre freestyle (the A final was limited to Americans). His time was the fastest time among all competitors, and set a new Americas record. It was also the 2nd fastest time in the event's history, 0.20 seconds behind Frédérick Bousquet's world record.[50][51]

At the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Cielo led the Brazilian 4×100-metre freestyle relay team to a 4th place finish, along with Nicolas Oliveira, Guilherme Roth and Fernando Silva. In this event, he opened with a time of 47.39 seconds in the heats (a South American and Championship record[52]) and a time of 47.09 seconds in the final, only 0.04 seconds from beating Eamon Sullivan's world record, and earning the second fastest time in the history of the 100-metre freestyle.[53][54] In the 100-metre freestyle final, the Brazilian swimmer won the gold medal, defeating the Olympic champion Alain Bernard and breaking the world record with a time of 46.91 seconds, entering into the select pantheon of swimmers who won an Olympic gold, a World Championships gold, and a World Record.[55][56] In the 50-metre freestyle final, Cielo defeated world record holder Frédérick Bousquet and won the gold medal with a time of 21.08 seconds, beating the competition record and the Americas record.[51][57][58] Cielo became the third swimmer to achieve this feat in a single World Championship, after Anthony Ervin and Alexander Popov. Popov, Ervin, and Cielo each won Olympic and World Championship gold medals in the 50-metre freestyle in succession.[59] When he finished the 4×100-metre medley, a contest where the first four relays in the race beat the US world record from the 2008 Summer Olympics, Cielo led Brazil to fourth place, along with Guilherme Guido, Henrique Barbosa and Gabriel Mangabeira, very close to winning the event's bronze and silver medals. His two gold medals at the World Championships led Brazil to the best performance in the history of the competition.[60][61]

Cielo became the sixth Brazilian to achieve a world record in the long course, after Maria Lenk, Manuel dos Santos, José Fiolo, Ricardo Prado and Felipe França.[62] It was the 13th world record made by a Brazilian swimmer.[63]

On 18 December 2009, in São Paulo, Cielo broke the world record in the 50-metre freestyle, with a time of 20.91 seconds, at a championship hosted at Esporte Clube Pinheiros, his club in Brazil and where he had trained since 2003. It was the last official event allowing the use of super-suits in Brazil.[64] A day later, he established the best time in the world, 1:26.12, in the 4×50-metre freestyle. The time was not considered a world record because this event is not part of the Olympics and World Championships.[65]


In 2010, Cielo changed clubs. He began the year receiving proposals from several teams in Brazil and elsewhere, but he chose to sign with Flamengo, under the chairmanship of former swimmer Patrícia Amorim, with a mission to contribute to the strengthening of swimming in Rio de Janeiro and other big Brazilian clubs. On June 27, 2010, he became the first swimmer in the world to break the Alexander Popov's world record in the 50-metre freestyle, without the help of technological swimsuits. He earned a time of 21.55 seconds, wearing only shorts, and won the Paris Open.[66]

At the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Irvine, California, the Brazilian started by winning a gold in the 50-metre butterfly, beating the championship record.[67][68] He hoped to also win gold in the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle, but settled for silver in the 50-metre freestyle,[69] and bronze in the 100-metre freestyle.[70] When interviewed after the contest, Cielo said there could have been some flaw in his training program, resulting in a lack of stamina.[71]

In September 2010, at the Jose Finkel Trophy, Cielo broke the short-course South American record for the 100-metre freestyle twice: first with a time of 46.13 seconds in the semifinal, and again with 45.87 seconds in the final.[72][73]

At the December 2010 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships in Dubai, Cielo, along with Nicholas Santos, Nicolas Oliveira and Marcelo Chierighini, won the bronze medal in the 4×100-metre freestyle, with a time of 3:05.74, setting a South American record and leaving behind the US team.[74][75] In the 50-metre freestyle, Cielo twice broke the Americas record, earning 20.61 seconds in the heats, and winning the gold medal with a time of 20.51 seconds, a new Americas and Championship record, just 0.21 seconds slower than Roland Schoeman's world record. (Schoeman broke the world record using super-suit technology in 2009, when it was still allowed, while Cielo made his time without a super-suit.) His time became the third fastest of any ever achieved in the event.[76][77][78] In the 100-metre freestyle, Cielo also won the gold with a time of 45.74 seconds, a South American and championship record. With that, Cielo, at 23 years old, managed to unify the world titles of the two events: the 50-metre and the 100-metre freestyle in both the long and short courses.[79][80] Completing his participation in the Short Course Worlds, Cielo led the Brazilian 4×100-metre medley relay team of Guilherme Guido, Felipe França Silva and Kaio de Almeida to win the bronze medal. The team broke the South American record with a time of 3:23.12.[81][82]


In May 2011, Cielo tested positive for the banned substance furosemide. Furosemide is a diuretic often used to help lose weight but it is also a masking agent which may hide the presence of other drugs. Cielo was one of four Brazilian swimmers who tested positive for the substance and was given a warning by Brazil's national swimming federation. Cielo claimed the positive drug test was a result of a cross-contamination.[83][84] FINA appealed Cielo's case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and CAS upheld the warning for Cielo. CAS claimed that a caffeine supplement had been contaminated, causing the failed drug test. CAS was convinced that the furosemide found was not aimed at improving athletic performance or masking the use of some other performance enhancing substance.[85]

The CAS decision allowed Cielo to compete in the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, as he was cleared to compete three days before the competition began. This generated controversy among other competitors. Notably, Kenyan swimmer Jason Dunford flashed a "thumbs down" to the audience after Cielo's win in the 50-metre butterfly (Dunford finished seventh in the race).[86][87]

Further controversy followed when Cielo made a slit-eyed gesture into the cameras after winning the 50 meter freestyle. The gesture was called "insensitive and offensive" towards the Chinese hosts.[88][89]

At the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, Cielo won the gold medal in the 50-metre butterfly with a time of 23.10 seconds.[90][91] Days later in the same competition, Cielo won a second gold medal in the 50-metre freestyle.[92][93] In the 100-metre freestyle, Cielo earned a time of 48.01 seconds, the best time of his life without the use of technological swimsuits, but ended in the fourth position, one-hundredth of a second away from winning a bronze and six hundredths away from silver.[94] The winner of the 100-metre freestyle was James Magnussen, an Australian who surprised the world a few days earlier with his time of 47.49 seconds in the 4×100-metre freestyle.[95]

At the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Cielo won four gold medals: in the 50 and 100-metre freestyle, and in the 4×100-metre freestyle and medley relay.[96] He broke the Pan-American record in the 50-metre freestyle (21.58 seconds),[97] the 100-metre freestyle (47.84 seconds),[98] and in the 4×100-metre freestyle (3:14.65).[99] His highlight for the competition was his time of 47.84 seconds in the 100-metre freestyle, the best time of his life without the use of a technological swimsuit.[100]

In 2011, Cielo announced the creation of P.R.O. 16 – the "Going for 2016 Gold" Project. The initiative, designed to serve as Brazilian swimming's "elite squad", gathered Cielo, who would be leading the project, and six other swimmers – André Schultz, Leonardo de Deus, Nicholas Santos, Henrique Rodrigues, Tales Cerdeira and Vinicius Waked – all selected for potential medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro. The idea would be to prepare the swimmers also for the main competition in the coming years.[101] For two years, the innovative program, which proposed a system of high level training without relying on the infrastructure of big clubs, worked. But the difficulty of finding sponsors and the change of attitude of the clubs made the training group lose almost all its members. In 2013, Cielo was the only one left in the project, but highlighted its continuity, with changes in the project, receiving new members and getting new sponsors.[102]


On April 25, 2012, participating in the Maria Lenk Trophy in Rio de Janeiro, Cielo finished the 50-metre freestyle race in 21.38 seconds, earning the best time of the year in the event,[103] and getting close to the best time in the event's history without using super-suits (21.36 seconds made by Frédérick Bousquet).[104] A day later, he broke the Americas record for the 50-metre butterfly, with a time of 22.76 seconds[105] beating the previous record, 22.87 seconds set by Nicholas Santos.[106]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Cielo finished 6th in the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 47.92 seconds. The gold went to Nathan Adrian (47.52 seconds), followed by James Magnussen (47.53 seconds) and Brent Hayden (47.80 seconds). At the 50-metre mark, Cielo had the fastest split with a time of 22.60 seconds.[107] In the 50-metre freestyle, where Cielo was the favorite to win gold, he ranked first in the semifinal, tied with Cullen Jones, with a time of 21.54 seconds. But in the final, he finished with a worse time than in the semifinal round, but managed to earn his third olympic medal, a bronze, with a time of 21.59 seconds. The winner was Frenchman Florent Manaudou with a time of 21.34 seconds. Cielo's olympic record of 21.30 seconds set in 2008 still held.[108]

On August 20, at the Jose Finkel Trophy in São Paulo, Cielo broke the short-course South American record in the 4×50-metre freestyle, with a time of 1:25.28.[109]

At the end of the year, Cielo had an operation on both knees.[110] Since 2007, the Brazilian had suffered patellar tendinopathy in both knees. Cielo was in constant pain, and the injury started to hurt his training and performance. The nadir was at the 2012 London Olympics, where Cielo was already struggling at the start. In September, he had an operation on the patellar tendon. "He had a chronic wear of the patellar tendon, which generated an inflammatory process that bothered him greatly. In London, Cielo has lost much of the leg muscles because this inflammatory process. He came to lose two inches in circumference on each leg for a period of ten days. As the inflamed knee, he lost output quality. An output was once the best in the world ended up much like those of their adversaries" said Gustavo Magliocca, Cielo's doctor.[111]


The new leadership of Flamengo, elected in 2012, decided not to follow Amorim's plans, and Cielo left the club in 2013.[6] In February 2013, Cielo resumed training with his former coach, Brett Hawke. The Brazilian went on to meet the schedule planned by his coach, followed closely by Hawke's assistant, American Scott Goodrich in São Paulo, who took over Cielo's training. With a contract until the end of 2016, Albertinho was the next head coach of the group.[112][113]

In April 2013, Cielo confirmed his place in the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, in Barcelona, in the 50-metre freestyle, with the second best time in the world of the year: 21.57 seconds.[110] He also qualified for the 50-metre butterfly. Due to his operation in both knees, Cielo did not compete in the 100-metre freestyle and the Brazilian relays. In the competition, Cielo became two-time World Champion of the 50-metre butterfly. The semifinals were the strongest stage of the race, with five swimmers earning times below 23 seconds. Cielo went to the final in second place with a time of 22.86 seconds, behind his compatriot Nicholas Santos. In the final, the athletes' performance was not the same, but Cielo showed more consistency and won the gold with a time of 23.01 seconds.[114][115] In the 50-metre freestyle, Cielo reached the final with the third fastest time, 21.60 seconds, tied with Nathan Adrian. Florent Manaudou and Anthony Ervin qualified for the final as favorites, with strong times of 21.37 and 21.42 seconds respectively, in the second semifinal. But, in a final with a high technical level in which three Olympic champions (Manaudou, Cielo and Ervin) were competing, Cielo earned the best time of his life without a high-tech suit (and an unofficial world fastest time swum in textile), 21.32 seconds, becoming the first three-time World Champion of the event. Manaudou and Ervin did not even reach the podium.[116] It was Cielo's sixth gold medal in individual events at the World Championships. With this result, Cielo overcame Alexander Popov and became the sprinter with more individual golds in World Championship history.[117] Only four male swimmers have won more gold individual medals in World Championships than Cielo: Aaron Peirsol (7), Grant Hackett (7), Ryan Lochte (9) and Michael Phelps (15). Regarding his gold medal in the 50-metre freestyle, Cielo assured his fans that it was the most important gold of his career, declaring at the World Championships: "It was certainly different from all others. Each medal has a different feeling. This was the most special of my life. From London, all I had to overcome... it was very exciting".[118] Cielo's results were considered a "redemption", because of low expectations entering the 2013 World Championships due to the troubled period following the London Olympics, when he underwent surgery on both knees, left his club and changed his coach.[119]


Cielo dated Priscila Machado, Miss Brasil 2011, for eight months.[120] In October 2012, he was photographed with his new girlfriend, model Kelly Gisch.[121]

Career best times

Long course (50 meter pool)

Event Time Venue Date Notes
50 m freestyle 20.91 São Paulo December 18, 2009 WR
100 m freestyle 46.91 Rome July 30, 2009 WR
50 m freestyle 21.30 Beijing August 16, 2008 OR
50 m butterfly 22.76 Rio de Janeiro April 26, 2012 AM
4×50 m freestyle 1:26.12 São Paulo December 19, 2009 SA
4×100 m freestyle 3:10.80 Rome July 26, 2009 SA
4×100 m medley 3:29.16 Rome August 2, 2009 SA

Short course (25 meter pool)

Event Time Venue Date Notes
50 m freestyle 20.51 Dubai December 17, 2010 AM
100 m freestyle 45.74 Dubai December 19, 2010 SA
4×50 m freestyle 1:25.28 São Paulo August 20, 2012 SA
4×100 m freestyle 3:05.74 Dubai December 15, 2010 SA
4×100 m medley 3:23.12 Dubai December 19, 2010 SA
4×200 m freestyle 7:06.09 Shanghai April 6, 2006 SA

Records progression

Long course (50 meter pool)

  • 50m freestyle
Time Date Notes
22.09 March 30, 2007 SA
21.84 July 22, 2007 SA, CR
21.75 July 11, 2008 SA
21.47 August 14, 2008 AM, OR
21.34 August 14, 2008 AM, OR
21.30 August 15, 2008 AM, OR
21.14 July 9, 2009 AM
21.08 August 1, 2009 AM, CR
20.91 December 18, 2009 WR
  • 100m freestyle
Time Date Notes
48.61 December 15, 2006 SA
48.51 March 29, 2007 SA
48.49 February 16, 2008 SA
48.34 April 6, 2008 SA
47.91 (r) August 11, 2008 AM
47.67 August 14, 2008 SA
47.60 May 10, 2009 SA
47.39 (r) July 26, 2009 AM, CR
47.09 (r) July 26, 2009 AM, CR
46.91 July 30, 2009 WR

r = relay lead-off

  • 50m butterfly
Time Date Notes
23.49 May 7, 2009 SA
23.42 May 8, 2009 SA
22.76 April 26, 2012 AM
  • 4x100m freestyle
Time Date Notes
3:17.03 March 25, 2007 SA
3:15.90 July 20, 2007 SA, CR
3:11.26 July 26, 2009 SA, CR
3:10.80 July 26, 2009 SA
  • 4x100m medley
Time Date Notes
3:35.81 July 22, 2007 SA, CR
3:29.16 August 2, 2009 SA

Short course (25 meter pool)

  • 50m freestyle
Time Date Notes
21.32 October 12, 2008 SA
20.61 December 16, 2010 AM, CR
20.51 December 17, 2010 AM, CR
  • 100m freestyle
Time Date Notes
47.00 November 23, 2007 SA
46.13 September 24, 2010 SA
45.87 September 24, 2010 SA
45.74 December 19, 2010 SA, CR
  • 4x100m freestyle
Time Date Notes
3:05.74 December 15, 2010 SA
  • 4x100m medley
Time Date Notes
3:33.02 October 11, 2004 SA
3:23.12 December 19, 2010 SA
  • 4x200m freestyle
Time Date Notes
7:06.09 April 6, 2006 SA

Honors and awards

Cielo has received the following awards:

  • NCAA Swimmer of the Year: 2007, 2008.[2]
  • Prêmio Brasil Olímpico: 2008, 2009, 2011.[122] In 2010 he was elected best swimmer of the year. Cielo competed for the Prêmio Brasil Olímpico award against Murilo Endres (volleyball) and Leandro Guilheiro (judo); Endres was elected the winner.[123]
  • Cielo was recognized by Época magazine as one of the 100 most influential Brazilians in 2008,[124] 2009,[125] and 2011.[126]
  • Prêmio Faz Diferença ("Makes Difference" Award) – O Globo newspaper: 2009.[127]
  • Best Ibero-American athlete of 2009.[128]
  • Best athlete of the decade by "Sport Life" magazine.[129]


Olympic Games

  • Beijing Olympics (China) :
    • Men's 50 m freestyle gold medal (OR).
    • Men's 100 m freestyle bronze medal.
  • London Olympics (England) :
    • Men's 50 m freestyle bronze medal.

FINA World Championships

See also


External links

  • Official website (Portuguese)
  • Profile at auburntigers.com
  • Profile at sportsreference.com
  • Cesar interview in Beijing on Floswimming
Preceded by
Thiago Pereira
Brazilian Sportsmen of the Year
2008, 2009
Succeeded by
Murilo Endres
Preceded by
Murilo Endres
Brazilian Sportsmen of the Year
Succeeded by
Arthur Zanetti
Preceded by
France Frédérick Bousquet
Men's 50 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

18 December 2009 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Australia Eamon Sullivan
Men's 100 metre freestyle
world record holder (long course)

30 July 2009 – present
Succeeded by

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