2012 Golden Goggle Award Nominees
Breakout Performer of the Year
This award is given to the athlete whose performance(s) stand out in relation to other years, with special emphasis given to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Cammile Adams - At the 2012 Austin Grand Prix, Cammile Adams won the women’s 200m fly with the fastest time by a U.S. woman in that race in over two years. Five months later, Adams won the 200m fly at Trials, qualifying herself for her first National Team trip and securing a spot on the Olympic roster. In London, Adams finished fifth overall in the event.
Haley Anderson - After finishing second in the 10K at the 2012 Open Water National Championships, Haley Anderson earned a spot for a race in Portugal that would serve as the qualifying meet for the 2012 Olympic Team. After a tight race, Anderson pulled out a victory and qualified for London. At the Olympics, she chased down Eva Risztov of Hungary, and ended up touching second four-tenths behind her.
Breeja Larson - After winning the 100y breaststroke at NCAA’s, Breeja Larson continued her hot streak by touching first in the 100m breast at Olympic Trials in June, qualifying her for her first Olympics. In London, Larson finished sixth overall and swam an important leg on the 4x100m medley relay in prelims, winning a gold medal.
Katie Ledecky - Virtually unknown in 2011, Katie Ledecky dominated the 800m free this summer at Olympic Trials, turning in best time by six seconds and nabbing a spot on the Olympic Team. In London, she faced the 2008 Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington of the UK, Ledecky took the lead from the start and never looked back, winning the 800m free by over four seconds and setting a new American Record in the process.
Scott Weltz - Rapidly rising in the world rankings in 2012, Weltz established himself as a top-notch breaststroker. He went on to win the 200m breast at Olympic Trials, with an impressive comeback the last 50m. Weltz not only grabbed a spot on the Olympic Team, but also a chance to experience international travel for the first time. In London, Weltz finished fifth overall, beating two-time Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima head to head.
This award is given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, sickness, injury, etc., to have an outstanding performance(s) in 2010, with special emphasis on the 2012 Olympic Games.
Tyler Clary- Tyler Clary finished third in the 400m IM at Trials and just narrowly missed making the Olympic Team. He bounced back to secure a spot in the 200m fly and 200m back. Clary’s accomplishments are unmatched when you consider that the trio of athletes he has had to beat in his career- Phelps, Lochte and Aaron Peirsol- had a total of 29 Olympic medals before London. At the Olympics, Clary set a new Olympic record and grabbed gold in the 200m back.
Anthony Ervin- At age 19, he was a fresh-faced teenager, who tied for a gold medal in the 50m free at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but shortly after, his interest in the sport waned and he stopped swimming. After taking 6-7 years off, Ervin began training again and eventually made his way to Olympic Trials, where he qualified second in the 50m free. In London, he finished fifth overall.
Jessica Hardy- After not being allowed to compete at the 2008 Olympics due to a suspension, Hardy bounced back and secured her spot on the 2012 Olympic team by taking first in the 100m free. In addition, she qualified in the 50m free. In London, Hardy went on to finish 7th in the 50m free and 8th in the 100m free, picking up a gold and bronze medal swimming on the medley and sprint free relays.
Davis Tarwater- In 2008, Tarwater touched third at Trials, six-tenths away from qualifying for the Olympic Team. He then retired from the sport, but began training after a few years out of the water. At the 2012 Trials, he finished seventh, once again missing a relay spot for the Olympic Team. Suddenly, Michael Phelps decided to drop out of the 200m free, opening up a spot on the team for Tarwater. In London, he swam an impressive prelim relay leg, helping set up the relay to win gold at night.
Coach of the Year
This award is given to the coach whose athlete(s) performed at the highest level throughout the year, with special emphasis on the 2012 Olympic Games.
Bob Bowman- Arguably the most famous coach on deck, Bowman’s expertise was on display in London, where both Phelps and Schmitt left legacies that will forever be remembered. At the Games, Phelps racked up his 22nd Olympic medal and surpassed Larisa Latynina for the most individual medals in Olympic history. Schmitt won three gold, one silver and one bronze as well.
Teri McKeever- McKeever’s training methods have produced a number of Olympians- namely, Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer and Caitlin Leverenz, all of whom competed in London. Vollmer broke the world and American record in the 100m fly and Coughlin earned her 12th career Olympic medal, tying her as the most decorated female Olympian in U.S. history. Mckeever also became the first woman to be named the head women’s coach of the U.S. Olympic team.
Dave Salo- Salo placed five athletes on the 2012 Olympic team- Rebecca Soni, Jessica Hardy, Ricky Berens, Eric Shanteau and Haley Anderson. In London, Soni smashed two world records and took gold in the 200m breaststroke, while Berens, Shanteau and Hardy were a part of gold-medal winning relays. Anderson also won her first individual medal in the Open Water 10K, grabbing silver.
Todd Schmitz- As Missy Franklin’s longtime coach, Schmitz has seen her grow from a standout age-group swimmer to Olympic champion. In London, Franklin won five medals and set two American records in both backstrokes. In addition, she broke two world records as well, in both the 200m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay.
Gregg Troy- Troy has coached 68 Olympians including Ryan Lochte, Elizabeth Beisel, Peter Vanderkaay and Conor Dwyer, all of whom competed in London. Lochte brought home five medals, bringing his career total to 11, tying him second behind Phelps for most individual medals won. Beisel, Vanderkaay and Dwyer all brought home medals as well. This was Troy’s third time on the Olympic Staff and his first as men’s head coach.
Relay Performance of the Year
This award is given to the best team relay performance, male or female. The performance considered must be a finals performance, with special emphasis on the 2012 Olympic Games.
Women’s 4 x 200 Free Relay – Olympics- Missy Franklin gave the U.S. a solid lead-off leg and, at the exchange with Dana Vollmer, the team was in third by fractions of a second. Vollmer pulled the Americans into second, while Shannon Vreeland kept the team within striking distance of first. Allison Schmitt brought it home for Team USA, blowing the field away with the fastest split at the Games and touching the wall in an Olympic record of 7:42.92. The women’s victory marks the first time the U.S. women have won Olympic gold in a relay since 2004.
Men’s 4 x 200 Free Relay – Olympics- The U.S. team of Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Michael Phelps capped the fourth night of Olympic Competition with a gold medal for the Americans in the 4x200m free relay. The quartet led from start to finish, winning in a time of 6:59.70, over three seconds ahead of France. The U.S. men have not lost this race internationally since 2003 and it marked the third consecutive Olympic gold medal for the U.S. men in this event.
Women’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay – Olympics-The American women capped their performance in London with a dominant swim in the women’s 4x100m medley relay, winning gold and breaking the world record in a final time of 3:52.05, almost two seconds ahead of Australia. The foursome of Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt won the first gold for the U.S. in this event since 2000.
Men’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay – Olympics- The team of Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian added to the impressive U.S. medal count, winning the 30th overall medal in the pool. The quartet finished in a time of 3:29.35, just one one-hundredth of a second off of the Olympic record. The U.S. men have never lost this race in Olympic competition.
Female Performance of the Year
This award is given to the female swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2012 Olympic Games.
200m Free – Allison Schmitt – Olympics- Allison Schmitt earned her first Olympic gold medal with a dominating performance in the final of the women’s 200m free in London. Schmitt laid low the first 50m, blowing the field away the last 150m and setting an American and Olympic record in the process. She finished with a time of 1:53.61, nearly two seconds ahead of Camille Muffat of France. Schmitt’s time was the fastest ever recorded in a textile suit and the second fastest performance in history.
800m Free – Katie Ledecky – Olympics- Katie Ledecky stuck with the pack the first 100m of her race, then confidently took the lead and never looked back. In addition to swimming a lifetime best of 4:04.30 at the 400m mark of the race, Ledecky continued to pull away and won the gold medal by over four seconds. Her final time of 8:14.63 broke the 23-year American record of Janet Evans and narrowly missed the world record by just half a second.
200m Back – Missy Franklin – Olympics-Missy Franklin did not disappoint in the 200m backstroke, winning gold and smashing the world record with a time of 2:04.06. She led from start to finish, beating her nearest competitor by almost 2 seconds. Franklin became the first American woman since Brooke Bennett in 2000 to win two individual gold medals in the same Olympic Games.
200m Breast – Rebecca Soni – Olympics- Since 2008, Soni has been close on countless occasions to break the world record again in the 200m breast, but it wasn’t until London that the 25-year-old broke through not once, but twice. Soni became the first woman to break 2:20.00, swimming a perfect race and touching the wall in a time of 2:19.59. Soni is the only female swimmer who won gold medals in the same individual event in 2008 and 2012.
100m Fly – Dana Vollmer – Olympics- Vollmer continued her hot streak of dominance in the women’s 100m fly by taking the Olympic gold in London. She broke the world record and became the first woman to break the 56.00 barrier, touching in a time of 55.98. Vollmer broke her own American record three times over the course of this summer.
Male Performance of the Year
This award is given to the male swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2012 Olympic Games.
100m Free – Nathan Adrian – Olympics- Nathan Adrian had never won an individual medal at either the Olympic Games or World Championships before the final of the 100m free in London. Adrian went head-to-head with world no.1 James Magnussen of Australia and took home the gold by .01 seconds in a time of 47.52. It was the first gold medal for the U.S. in the men’s 100m free since Matt Biondi in 1988.
100m Back – Matt Grevers – Olympics- Matt Grevers gained great experience winning silver in the 100m back in 2008 at Beijing and it paid off in London, as the 27-year-old earned his first Olympic medal by seven-tenths of a second. Grevers set an Olympic record and the win was the fifth straight Olympic Games in which the U.S. won the gold in the 100m back.
200m Back – Tyler Clary – Olympics-Tyler Clary showed great patience and a smart game plan in winning his first Olympic medal, a gold in the 200m back. Clary went from fourth at the 50m mark to second at the 150m, before hammering it home in a time of 1:53.41, a new Olympic record. It was the fifth straight Olympic Games in which the U.S. won gold in the 200m back.
200m IM – Michael Phelps – Olympics-There was a great deal riding on the 200IM final in London, as Phelps was seeking to become the first man to win gold in the same event for the third Olympics in a row. He built a slight lead on the fly leg and steadily extended it, turning with .78 second lead over Lochte, who was fighting back. Phelps held on and claimed gold, winning the event for the third consecutive time in a row.
400m IM – Ryan Lochte – Olympics- Lochte was a clear favorite to win the 400IM, but Phelps had snuck back in the final in lane eight. Lochte let it be known that he was the one to beat, as he opened up a commanding 2.3 second lead at the halfway mark and showed no weakness. He dominated the rest of the race, finishing with a gold medal and a 3.6 second victory. It was the fifth straight Olympic Games gold medal in the 400IM for the U.S.
Female Athlete of the Year
This award is given to the top female swimmer of the year with special emphasis on achievements at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Missy Franklin- Missy Franklin qualified for London in seven events- something no other American female swimmer had ever done. The 17-year-old continued to amaze the swimming world as she set an Olympic and American record in the 100m back and two world records- one in the 4x100m medley relay and the other in the 200m back en route to winning five medals, four of which were gold.
Allison Schmitt- As one of two female swimmers to garner five total medals at the London Games, Allison Schmitt had the best year of her career. After taking the year off from school to train, Schmitt made the most of it, taking silver and set the American record in the 400m free with a time of 4:01.77 and then dominated in the 200m free, setting an Olympic and American record in a time of 1:53.61. Schmitt was a crucial component to all three relays, earning two gold medals and a silver.
Rebecca Soni- Rebecca Soni proved, once again, that she is one of the most dominant swimmers in the world. She smashed two world records on her way to gold in the 200m breaststroke, becoming the first female to break 2:20.00 in the history of the sport and touching in a time of 2:19.59. The win marked her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event and she was the only female athlete in London to back up her win in Beijing.
Dana Vollmer- After failing to make the Olympic Team in 2008, Dana Vollmer had a chance for redemption in 2012. The 24-year-old had a strong performance at Olympic Trials in June and secured her spot for London. At the Olympics, Vollmer won the 100m fly, touching the wall in a world-record time of 55.98, winning gold and becoming the first woman to break the 56 second barrier. She then went on to win gold in the 4x100m medley and 4x200m free relays, finishing London with three gold medals.
Male Athlete of the Year
This award is given to the top male swimmer of the year with special emphasis on achievements at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Nathan Adrian- A relay gold medalist from the 2008 Games, Nathan Adrian was known for his speed and consistency but had yet to earn an individual medal in the sprint events. That all changed at Olympic Trials, where Adrian won the 100m free and got a bid to London. At the Olympics, Adrian proved his sprinting prowess, winning gold in the 100m free and beating Australia’s James Magnussen by .01. In addition, Adrian powered the men’s 4x100m medley relay to the top of the podium, taking gold yet again. He also grabbed silver in the 4x100m free relay.
Matt Grevers- A three-time Olympic medalist in 2008, Grevers entered 2012 with an opportunity to show that he was one of the world’s most dominant backstrokers. He overwhelmed the field at Trials, winning the 100m back in the second-fastest time ever posted in the event. At the Games, he went on to win his first individual gold medal in the 100m back, setting the Olympic record by half a second. He also picked up another gold and silver, bringing his total career Olympic medal count to six.
Ryan Lochte- At the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Lochte produced numerous impressive swims, winning the 200m back and 400IM and placing second in the 200m free and 200IM. Lochte then took London by storm, collecting five medals over the course of the Games, grabbing gold in the 400IM with a time of 4:05.18, over three seconds ahead of the field. He earned yet another gold on the 4x200m free relay, a bronze in the 200m backstroke and grabbed two silvers, bringing his career total to 11 Olympic medals, tying him for second, behind only Michael Phelps.
Michael Phelps- The most decorated Olympian in history, Michael Phelps’ unprecedented 22 Olympic Medals, 18 of which are gold, classify him in a league of his own. At Olympic Trials in June, Phelps became the first U.S. man to qualify for four Olympics Games. In London, Phelps won six medals and became the first male swimmer to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics, a feat he accomplished in both the 200IM and 100m fly. In addition, he surpassed Larisa Latynina for most career individual Olympic medals.