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USA Swimming – Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky Earn Top Accolades at 2016 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards

Posted by | November 22, 2016 | USA Swimming

For the third consecutive year, the Olympic gold-medal-winning tandem of Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club) and Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md./North Baltimore Aquatic Club) earned Athlete of the Year honors Monday at the 2016 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards at the New York Marriott Marquis. 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 200-meter 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. This year’s event, emceed by NBC Sports’ Rowdy Gaines, celebrated the accomplishments of the U.S. swimming team at the 2016 Olympic Games, where team USA won 33 total medals – its most since 2000 – and 16 gold medals. The evening benefited the USA Swimming Foundation. After winning six medals in Rio, including five gold, Phelps won Male Athlete of the Year honors for the third straight year and the seventh time in his career. Individually in Rio, Phelps won a record fourth consecutive Olympic title in the 200m individual medley, reclaimed gold in the 200m butterfly for the first time since 2008 and earned silver in the 100m butterfly. Phelps helped lead the U.S. to a gold-medal sweep in all three men’s relays.Phelps also became the fifth recipient of the IMPACT Award, which honors individuals for their contributions to the sport of swimming. In addition to winning record totals of 28 Olympic medals and 23 Olympic gold medals, Phelps has helped take the sport to new heights at the grassroots level. From 2000 to 2016, USA Swimming year-round athlete membership has increased more than 50 percent to more than 340,000. Launched in 2008, the Michael Phelps Foundation – working closely with the Boys and Girls Club of America – has made an immeasurable impact with at-risk children, teaching swimming and other life skills.“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 honor sharing the pool with you guys. I am done competitive swimming, but I’m never too far from the pool.”Ledecky earned Female Athlete of the Years for a record fourth straight year following her record-setting performance in Rio. She became one of just four American women in any sport to win four gold medals at a single Olympic Games, and joined Debbie Meyer (1968) as the only women to win the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle at the same Games. Ledecky added gold in the 4x200m free relay and silver in the 4x100m free relay. In addition, she bested her own world records with swims of 3:56.46 in the 400m free and 8:04.79 in the 800m free in Rio.“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.”Ledecky’s Stanford University teammate Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Stanford Swimming) won Female Race of the Year honors for her groundbreaking 100m free gold medal in an American and Olympic record 52.70. Her victory marked the first gold medal for Team USA in the event since 1984, and she became the first female African-American swimmer to win any medal in an individual event.Phelps added Male Race of the Year honors with an Olympic Games victory in the 200m butterfly, reclaiming the top spot in the event for the first time since 2008. After opening up a lead of nearly a half second at the 100-meter mark, Phelps held off a hard-charging Masato Sakai of Japan to win by four-hundredths of a second in 1:53.36 for the tightest 200m fly finish in Olympic history.Phelps and teammates Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks), Ryan Held (Springfield, Ill./NC State University) and Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics) earned Relay Performance of the Year honors for winning gold in the men’s 4x100m free relay at the 2016 Olympic Games.In her Olympic debut, Breakout Performer of the Year honoree Lilly King (Evansville, Ind./Indiana University) won Team USA’s first Olympic gold medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke since 2000 in an Olympic record 1:04.93 and added a second gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay.Perseverance Award winner Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif./California Aquatics) went 16 years between Olympic gold medals with a seven-year hiatus from the sport in between. In Rio, Ervin made history by winning gold in the 50m free in 21.40 by just one-hundredth of a second to become the oldest swimmer to win individual Olympic gold.Coach of the Year honors went to California Aquatics’ Dave Durden, who coached five members of the Team USA men’s roster in Rio – Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot and T

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