(Courtesy of Mary Wagner and Gail Dummer, USA Swimming.)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 19. THE North Baltimore Aquatic Club took three of USA Swimming's most prestigious awards at last week's abbreviaated USA Swimming convention in Dearborn, Michigan.
Michael Phelps was honored as the organization's Athlete of the Year, as well as earning the Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award for his world record swim at the World Championships. His coach, Bob Bowman, was named the winner of the Doc Counsilman Coach of the Year award. Due to the circumstances resulting from the terrorist attacks last week, the awards will be presented to the recipients at the next meet attended by Phelps.
"I'm extremely honored to receive these awards," said Phelps via telephone. "I'm glad that Bob was named coach of the year because he got me to where I am. Nothing this big would have happened without him. I owe this to him for doing what he does best."
Coach Pete Malone of the Kansas City Blazers was honored with the USA Swimming Award, long considered the highest recognition for service in the sport. Malone was overwhelmed by the honor.
"In all my years of coaching, this means more to me than anything else I've gotten," said an emotional Malone.
Swimming World Editor Phil Whitten received the Athletes' Appreciation Award. "There is no other award I would be more honored to receive," he said from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
USA Swimming also presented the following awards:
Open Water Committee Award – Steve Munatones
Hummer Award for service to Open Water – George Bare and Jacque Grossman
Open Water Athlete of the Year – Mark Leonard
Safety Commendation Award – George Young
Adapted Swimming Committee Award – Gail Dummer
Tricia Zorn Award for Adapted Athlete of the Year – Curtis Lovejoy
Developmental Coach of the Year – Devon Ames
Pettigrew Award for Officials – Ron Van Pool