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Golden Goggles At The Ready

Oct 8, 2008  - Craig Lord

The USA Swimming Foundation today released the nominations for the 2008 Golden Goggle Awards, a black-tie event celebrating the accomplishments of top American swimmers in 2008. The gala will take place on Monday, November 17 at the New York Hilton. Star of the show is a man who is a nominee in name only: Michael Phelps.

A total of 10 Golden Goggle awards will be presented,  including Male and Female Athlete of the Year. You can vote online at www.GoldenGoggles.com from today until November 7.

 Phelps headlines the ballot with three individual nominations and three relay nominations following his historic eight-gold medal performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Phelps broke four individual world records and was part of three relay world records on his way to winning the most gold medals ever in a single Olympiad. 

One of the men who helped Phelps to dodge the bullet, Jason Lezak, has four nominations, Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Rebecca Soni has three nominations and Natalie Coughlin, Christine Magnuson, and Dara Torres all have two nominations.

The Coach of the Year ballot includes Bob Bowman (Club Wolverine), Gregg Troy (Univ. of Florida), Teri McKeever (Cal Aquatics), Eddie Reese (Longhorn Aquatics), and Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club). No prizes for guessing who will win that one in a nation where winning counts for much more than anything else - and winning eight golds counts an awful lot.

 Matt Grevers, Magnuson, and Soni are nominated for Breakout Performer 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 2008 Olympic Games, features Lezak, Torres, Eric Shanteau, and Emily Silver. Shanteau's courage was exceptional.

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 campaign, 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 2008 awards and nominees are as follows:

Breakout Performer of the Year:

  • Matt Grevers
  • Christine Magnuson
  • Rebecca Soni

Perseverance Award:

  • Jason Lezak
  • Eric Shanteau
  • Emily Silver
  • Dara Torres

Coach of the Year:

  • Bob Bowman
  • Teri McKeever
  • Dave Salo
  • Gregg Troy
  • Eddie Reese

Relay Performance of the Year (all from the 2008 Olympic Games):

  • Men's 400m Free Relay
  • Men's 800m Free Relay
  • Men’s 400m Medley Relay

Female Performance of the Year (all from the 2008 Olympic Games):

  • Natalie Coughlin - 100m Backstroke
  • Christine Magnuson – 100m Butterfly
  • Rebecca Soni – 200m Breaststroke
  • Dara Torres – 50m Freestyle

Male Performance of the Year (all from the 2008 Olympic Games):

  • Ryan Lochte - 200m Backstroke
  • Aaron Peirsol - 100m Backstroke
  • Michael Phelps – 100m Butterfly
  • Michael Phelps – 400m Individual Medley

Female Athlete of the Year:

  • Natalie Coughlin
  • Margaret Hoelzer
  • Katie Hoff
  • Rebecca Soni

Male Athlete of the Year:

  • Jason Lezak
  • Ryan Lochte
  • Aaron Peirsol
  • Michael Phelps

The gala will also witness the presentation of an Impact Award and a Humanitarian Award, given only in Olympic years.