This year's event will be hosted by Emmy-nominated sports broadcaster Dan Hicks and will mix entertainment industry celebrities with the top swimming stars in the United States. Hicks has been the voice of Olympic swimming since 1996 and is also a host of NBC's Emmy award-winning golf coverage. A total of eight Golden Goggle awards will be presented this year, including Male and Female Athlete of the Year.
Fans can vote for the winners online at www.GoldenGoggles.com. Online voting begins October 16, and will continue through November 18.
Michael Phelps Headlines The Ballot With Three Individual Nominations And Three Relay NominationsThe nominees for 2009 Male Athlete of the Year include Phelps, Lochte, and Aaron Peirsol. Phelps, Lochte and Peirsol combined for 11 gold medals at the 2009 World Championships. In addition to their individual medals, Phelps and Lochte captured gold in both the 400m and 800m free relays, while Phelps and Peirsol each swam legs of the gold-medal 400m medley relay. All three swimmers also broke individual world records this summer.
The 2009 Female Athlete of the Year category features Kukors, Soni and Vollmer. All three of the swimmers won individual medals at the 2009 World Championships. Kukors shattered the world record in the 200m IM not once, but twice on her way to her first World Championship gold medal. Soni won the 100m breaststroke in world-record time, and earned a silver medal in the 50m breast. Vollmer captured a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle, then teamed with Kukors for a silver medal in the 800m free relay.
The Coach of the Year ballot includes Bob Bowman (North Baltimore), Sean Hutchison (King Aquatics/Fullerton), Eddie Reese (Longhorn Aquatics), Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club), and Gregg Troy (Gator Swim Club). Each of these nominees coached a swimmer to individual World Championship gold in 2009.
In other categories, Kasey Carlson (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.), and Eric Shanteau (Lilburn, Ga.) are nominated as Breakout Performers of the Year. The ballot for the Perseverance Award, given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, illness, injury, etc., to have an outstanding performance at the 2009 World Championships, features Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.), Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Kukors and Vollmer.
The Golden Goggle Awards serve as a fundraiser for the USA Swimming Foundation, which strives to make communities better through the sport of swimming. Among its initiatives is the Make a Splash initiative, a national, child-focused water safety campaign that strives to provide swim lessons for children who otherwise could not afford them.
The complete list of 2009 awards and nominees:
Breakout Performer of the Year:
- Kasey Carlson
- Tyler Clary
- Andrew Gemmell
- Eric Shanteau
- Fran Crippen
- Ariana Kukors
- Dana Vollmer
- Amanda Weir
Coach of the Year:
- Bob Bowman
- Sean Hutchison
- Eddie Reese
- Dave Salo
- Gregg Troy
Relay Performance of the Year (all from the 2009 World Championships):
- Men's 400m Free Relay
- Men's 800m Free Relay
- Men's 400m Medley Relay
Female Race of the Year:
- Jessica Hardy - 100m Breaststroke (2009 U.S. Open)
- Ariana Kukors - 200m Individual Medley (2009 World Championships)
- Rebecca Soni - 100m Breaststroke (2009 World Championships)
Male Race of the Year (all from the 2009 World Championships):
- Ryan Lochte - 200m Individual Medley
- Aaron Peirsol - 200m Backstroke
- Michael Phelps - 100m Butterfly
- Michael Phelps - 200m Butterfly
Female Athlete of the Year:
- Ariana Kukors
- Rebecca Soni
- Dana Vollmer
Male Athlete of the Year:
- Ryan Lochte
- Aaron Peirsol
- Michael Phelps
About The USA Swimming Foundation
The USA Swimming Foundation was established in 2004 for the purpose of using the sport of swimming to make communities better. The Foundation focuses its resources on three main areas: making communities safer in and around the water so as to reduce drownings; encouraging diversity in the sport of swimming; and using swimming to promote a healthy lifestyle and to combat issues such as childhood obesity. Based in Colorado Springs, the Foundation is managed by an independent board of directors. For more information, visit www.swimfoundation.org.
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.