By Kelsey Reese//USA Swimming Communications Intern
USA Swimming National Team Member Missy Franklin was honored Wednesday as the 2013 Sportswoman of the Year from the Women’s Sports Foundation. Franklin was announced as the winner at the 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
Joining Franklin as finalists for the honor were: Mao Asada, figure skating; Kelly Clark, snowboarding; Tina Maze, alpine skiing; Tatyana McFadden, Paralympic track and field; Inbee Park, golf; Jenn Suhr, track and field; and Serena Williams, tennis.
This award is presented to an individual sport athlete who has performed exceptionally over the previous 12 months. At the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, this summer, Franklin demonstrated remarkable athletic talent—becoming the first woman in history to win six gold medals at a single world championships. She finished first in the 100m and 200m backstrokes, 200m freestyle, 400m and 800m freestyle relays and the 400m medley relay.
The 18-year-old also won four national titles at the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships held in June and was the overall women’s champion for the 2012-13 Arena Grand Prix Series.
Additionally, at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Franklin won four gold medals and one bronze—setting two world records in the process (400m medley relay and 200m backstroke).
Over the past year, Franklin has been honored with several other awards, including the 2012 FINA Female Swimmer of the Year, 2012 James E. Sullivan Award as top U.S. amateur athlete, and 2013 ESPY Award for Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete.
Past Sportswoman of the Year recipients include: (Individual) Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics; Yani Tseng, Golf; Yuna Kim, Figure skating; Erin Popovich, Paralympic Swimming; Martina Navratilova, Tennis, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field; (Team) Alex Morgan, Soccer; Abby Wambach, Soccer; Jessica Mendoza, Softball; Misty May & Kerri Walsh, Beach Volleyball; Lisa Leslie, Basketball, and Serena & Venus Williams, Tennis.