- List of Swimming World Swimmers of the Year
The Swimming World Magazine Swimmers of the Year, awarded by the American-based Swimming World Magazine, are a set of awards which are often regarded as being the most prestigious in the sport of swimming. There are seven categories: World Swimmer, American Swimmer, European Swimmer, Pacific Rim Swimmer, World Disabled Swimmer, African Swimmer, and Open Water Swimmer of year. An award for male and female is made for each category.
The award was inaugurated in 1964, when Swimming World named Don Schollander as its World Swimmer of the Year. Two years later, a female category was added, and the awards continued in this format until 1980. The winners were mostly American until the rise of East Germany's women in the 1970s, and 1980 saw the creation of subcategories for American and European swimmers. Following the end of the Cold War, Germany declined following the end of the East's systematic state-sponsored doping program, while Australia's swimming team enjoyed a revival. In 1994, Australian swimmers won both awards for World Swimmer of the Year for the first time, and in 1995, a subcategory was inaugurated for Pacific Rim swimmers. A subcategory for disabled swimmers was introduced in 2003, and in the following year, an African award was launched after South Africa became the first country from the continent to win an Olympic relay. In 2005, open water swimming was added to the Olympic program and another category was duly added.
American swimmers have been the most successful in winning awards, with 43 titles, more than three times that of Australia (13). Michael Phelps of the United States has won the global award six times, followed by Ian Thorpe of Australia with four. Regionally, German, Hungarian and Dutch swimmers have had the most success in Europe, while Australians have won more than three quarters of the Pacific awards.
World Swimmers of the Year
The award was inaugurated in 1964, when Swimming World named Don Schollander as its World Swimmer of the Year. Two years later, a female category was added. The winners were always American until 1970, and the it was not until 1979 that a non-American male won the award. However, from 1973 until 1989, the rise of East Germany's women saw them win a majority of the awards. Following the end of the Cold War, Germany declined following the end of the East's systematic state-sponsored doping program, while Australia's swimming team enjoyed a revival in the late 1990s, winning nine awards since 1997, the most by any country in that period.
United States swimmers have won the title 43 times, followed by Australia (13 times) and East Germany (11 times). This ratio is approximately proportional to the amount of gold medals won by the respective nations at the Olympics. East Germany was particularly successful in the 1970s and 1980s, when they dominated the women's events, aided by systematic state-sponsored doping.
With his win in 2009, Michael Phelps (USA) now holds the overall record with six titles. He won in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He is also only person to win the award four straight times. Debbie Meyers of the US, won from 1967–69. Ian Thorpe (AUS) is the second most prolific winner in the category as he was honored four times, in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002.
Four female swimmers have won three awards: Debbie Meyer (USA) in 1967, 1968 and 1969, Krisztina Egerszegi (HUN) in 1991, 1992 and 1995, Janet Evans (USA) in 1987, 1989 and 1990, and Kristin Otto (GDR) in 1984, 1986 and 1988. Franziska van Almsick is the youngest female to have won the award, having turned 15 on April 5 in the year of her first award. Thorpe is the youngest male recipient, having turned 16 on October 13 in the year of his first award.
American Swimmers of the Year
- See also: Golden Goggle Awards (U.S.)
Michael Phelps has been named American Swimmer of the Year on eight occasions; his streak of 2001 to 2008 was interrupted only by Aaron Peirsol in 2005. Janet Evans is the most decorated female swimmer, with five awards, all of them consecutively, from 1987 to 1991. Tracy Caulkins won four times in the early-1980s, while Natalie Coughlin, Katie Hoff and Jenny Thompson all won thrice. On the men’s side, Mike Barrowman and Lenny Krayzelburg won the award four consecutive times, while Matt Biondi captured three awards.
European Swimmers of the Year
East Germany was particularly successful in the 1970s and 1980s, when they dominated the women's events, aided by systematic state-sponsored doping. Their women swept the award for the first ten years of its existence from 1980 to 1989, with Kristin Otto winning three times, before the Berlin Wall and communism fell. With the end of the state-sponsored doping program, the (East) German stranglehold on women's swimming was broken. In the two decades since reunification, the female award was won by Germans four times, three by Franziska van Almsick. During the 1980s, Michael Groß of West Germany, nicknamed The Albatross in reference to his vast wingspan, dominated European swimming, winning five consecutive awards from 1982 to 1986.
Hungary has won the award 13 times, mainly on the back of its strength in medley swimming. Breaststrokers Ágnes Kovács and Károly Güttler, and backstroker Sándor Wladár were the only Hungarian winners who were not champion medley swimmers. Krisztina Egerszegi won four awards, the most by a female swimmer, while Tamás Darnyi claimed three. The Netherlands have won seven awards, through the efforts of Inge de Bruijn (3) and Pieter van den Hoogenband (4), who led the sprinting world for women and men at the turn of the century. Russian or Soviet swimmers have won seven awards, all of them male.
Pacific Rim Swimmers of the Year
The Pacific Rim award was introduced in 1995, the year after two Australian swimmers—Kieren Perkins and Samantha Riley—became the first two Pacific Rim swimmers to be named as World Swimmer of the Year. It has subsequently been dominated by Australian swimmers, who have won 24 of the 32 awards given. Ian Thorpe won six awards (five consecutively) and Susie O'Neill has won four (three consecutively). Australia’s success has been built on female butterfliers (O’Neill and Petria Thomas), female breaststrokers (Riley and Leisel Jones), and male freestylers (Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Michael Klim). Kosuke Kitajima (Japan) is the only non-Australian swimmer to have won the award more than once (in 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2010).
Year Female Winner Nationality Male Winner Nationality 1995 Susie O'Neill Australia Scott Miller Australia 1996 Jingyi Le China Danyon Loader New Zealand 1997 Samantha Riley Australia Michael Klim Australia 1998 Susie O'Neill Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 1999 Susie O'Neill Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 2000 Susie O'Neill Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 2001 Petria Thomas Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 2002 Petria Thomas Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 2003 Leisel Jones Australia Kosuke Kitajima Japan 2004 Jodie Henry Australia Ian Thorpe Australia 2005 Leisel Jones Australia Grant Hackett Australia 2006 Leisel Jones Australia Tae Hwan Park South Korea 2007 Libby Lenton Australia Kosuke Kitajima Japan 2008 Stephanie Rice Australia Kosuke Kitajima Japan 2009 Jessicah Schipper Australia Zhang Lin China 2010 Alicia Coutts Australia Kosuke Kitajima Japan
African Swimmers of the Year
The African award was introduced in 2004, the year in which South Africa won the men's 4 × 100 m freestyle relay at the Olympics. Although Joan Harrison (1952) and Penny Heyns (1996) had won individual gold medals for South Africa, the 2004 victory was the first time that an African relay team won a medal, indicating their increasing depth. In the same Olympics, Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry's won three medals, including one gold, making her the first African swimmer outside of South Africa to stand on the podium. Coventry has won the female award five times. South African sprinter Roland Schoeman won four consecutive male awards from 2004 to 2007, and in total South African swimmers have claimed eight awards. In 2008, Ous Mellouli of Tunisia broke the South African and Zimbabwean duopoly after becoming the first African male to win an individual Olympic gold medal.
Year Female Winner Nationality Male Winner Nationality 2004 Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Roland Schoeman South Africa 2005 Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Roland Schoeman South Africa 2006 Suzaan van Biljon South Africa Roland Schoeman South Africa 2007 Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Roland Schoeman South Africa 2008 Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Oussama Mellouli Tunisia 2009 Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Oussama Mellouli
Cameron van der Burgh
2010 Mandy Loots South Africa Cameron van der Burgh South Africa
Open Water Swimmers of the Year
The Open Water award was introduced in 2005, when it was announced that an open water swimming event would be included in the Olympics for the first time: the 10 km events at the 2008 Olympics. The award has been won by a Russian swimmer four times, while German and Dutch swimmers have won three times. Russia’s Larisa Ilchenko won the award for three years in a row (2006–2008); Thomas Lurz of Germany is the only other multiple winner, triumphing in 2005, 2006, and 2009.
Year Female Winner Nationality Male Winner Nationality 2005 Edith van Dijk Netherlands Thomas Lurz
2006 Larisa Ilchenko Russia Thomas Lurz Germany 2007 Larisa Ilchenko Russia Vladimir Dyatchin Russia 2008 Larisa Ilchenko Russia Maarten van der Weijden Netherlands 2009 Keri-Anne Payne United Kingdom Thomas Lurz Germany 2010 Martina Grimaldi Italy Valerio Cleri Italy
World Disabled Swimmers of the Year
This award was created in 2003, and then was not awarded in 2004. American swimmers have won the award four times. Canadian, Brazilian, and Australian swimmers have won the award twice.
Year Female Winner Nationality Male Winner Nationality 2003 Danielle Watts United Kingdom Sergei Punko Belarus 2004 Not awarded N/A Not awarded N/A 2005 Erin Popovich United States Benoît Huot Canada 2006 Jessica Long United States Wang Xiaofu China 2007 Valérie Grand'Maison Canada Matthew Cowdrey Australia 2008 Natalie du Toit South Africa Matthew Cowdrey Australia 2009 Mallory Weggemann United States Daniel Dias Brazil 2010 Mallory Weggemann United States Daniel Dias Brazil
- ^ In 1996 the American Swimmer of the Year award was given to the 4×100 m medley relay team of Jeff Rouse, Jeremy Linn, Mark Henderson, and Gary Hall, Jr. who won gold and broke the world record at the Olympics that year.
- ^ a b Jeffery, Nicole (27 November 2008). "Rice on top of world again". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24712268-2722,00.html. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Swimmers of the Year". Swimming World Magazine. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/SwimmersOfTheYear.asp. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- ^ a b c d "Swimming's big splash". BBC Sports. 5 July 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics_2004/swimming/history/3477381.stm. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
- ^ a b c d "Phelps causes biggest splash". BBC Sports. 21 August 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics_2004/swimming/3587554.stm. Retrieved 19 November 2006.
- ^ Hunter, Greg (2004). Ian Thorpe: The Biography. Sydney: MacMillan. pp. 130–133. ISBN 1-4050-3632-X.
- ^ a b "Olympic medal winners". International Olympic Committee. http://www.olympic.org/uk/athletes/results/search_r_uk.asp. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
Results classification: "By individual" → Competition gender: Select all → Medal: Select all → Continents and nations: "Africa" → Sports and events: "Swimming" → Search ↵
- ^ VOA Sports (28 October 2005). "IOC Includes 10K Open Water Event in 2008 Beijing Olympics". Voice of America. http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-10/2005-10-28-voa55.cfm. Retrieved 28 March 2009. [dead link]
- ^ "Lane 9 News Archive: Swimming World Names 2009 Open Water Swimmers of the Year". Swimmingworldmagazine.com. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/22800.asp. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
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