Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky (USA) have won the Athlete of the Year honours once again at the prestigious USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards.
Phelps, who won six medals this summer, including five gold, won male Athlete of the Year for the third straight year and the seventh time overall.
Phelps was the night’s big winner, adding four Golden Goggle Awards to his collection – Male Athlete of the Year, Male Race of the Year for the 200m butterfly at the 2016 Olympic Games, Relay Performance of the Year for the 4x100m freestyle relay in Rio and the IMPACT Award, presented for his lifetime contributions to the sport of swimming.
“My career has been a dream come true, and it wouldn’t be possible without a lot of you in this room. I can’t thank you enough for the support,” Phelps said.
Speaking to his teammates, Phelps added, “It’s been a true honour sharing the pool with you guys. I am done competitive swimming, but I’m never too far from the pool.”
Ledecky won female Athlete of the Year for a record fourth consecutive year. She won four golds at Rio, joining Debbie Meyer as the only women to win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events at the same Olympics.
“I have so many great memories from training and in Rio everything in between,” Ledecky said. “I want to thank everyone on the U.S. team, including the coaches and captains – You guys all really pulled the team together and you’re like family to me.”
Simone Manuel won female Race of the Year for her gold in the 100 freestyle in Rio, when she set an American and Olympic record at 52.70 seconds.
2016 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Award Winners
• Female Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky
• Male Athlete of the Year: Michael Phelps
• Female Race of the Year: Simone Manuel, Women’s 100m Freestyle (2016 Olympic Games)
• Male Race of the Year: Michael Phelps, Men’s 200m Butterfly (2016 Olympic Games)
• Relay Performance of the Year: Men’s 4x100m Free Relay (2016 Olympic Games): Caeleb Dressel, Michael Phelps, Ryan Held, Nathan Adrian
• Breakout Performer of the Year: Lilly King
• Perseverance Award: Anthony Ervin
• IMPACT Award: Michael Phelps
• Team Leadership & Inspiration Award: Elizabeth Beisel