USA Swimming Foundation Announces Nominees for the 2011 Golden Goggle Awards

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, October 13. THE USA Swimming Foundation today released the nominations for the 2011 Golden Goggle Awards, a star-studded awards gala celebrating the year's top accomplishments in American swimming. The event will take place Sunday, November 20 at the JW Marriott at LA Live in Los Angeles and will feature the 2011 FINA World Championships U.S. swim team.

World Championship gold medalists Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) and Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) headline the ballot with four nominations apiece. A total of nine Golden Goggle awards will be presented this year, including Male and Female Athlete of the Year. Fans can vote for the winners online at Online voting begins October 13, and will continue through November 18.

A special "Impact Award" will be awarded to Carolyn Dirks for her continued support of the USA Swimming Foundation's efforts to save lives and build champions.

The nominations for the star-studded event are selected based on the top accomplishments of the year by U.S. swimmers, with a special emphasis placed on the 2011 FINA World Championships which were held this summer in Shanghai, China. U.S. swimmers topped the medal count in China, earning the Championship Team Trophy and winning a total of 31 medals – 17 gold, six silver and eight bronze.

The nominees for 2011 Male Athlete of the Year include Lochte and Phelps. The two swimmers each had a spectacular World Championships, combining for a total of 13 medals (nine gold, three silver and one bronze). Lochte also set the first individual long course world record since the ban of high-tech suits at the end of 2009. The 2011 Female Athlete of the Year category features Franklin, Rebecca Soni (Plainsboro, N.J.), Dana Vollmer (Granbury, Texas) and Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, R.I). All four female nominees won individual gold medals in Olympic events at World Championships.

In other categories, Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.), Beisel and Peter Vanderkaay (Rochester, N.Y.) are nominated in the Perseverance Award category, an honor which is given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, illness, injury, etc. In addition, the ballot for Breakout Performer of the Year features 2011 standouts Meyer, Tyler McGill (Champaign, Ill.) and Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y.).

The Coach of the Year ballot includes Bob Bowman (North Baltimore), Teri McKeever (Cal Aquatics), Todd Schmitz (Colorado Stars), Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club), and Gregg Troy (Gator Swim Club). Each of these nominees coached a swimmer to individual World Championship gold in 2011.

The Golden Goggle Awards serve as a fundraiser for the USA Swimming Foundation, which strives to save lives and build champions in the sport of swimming. In addition to Make a Splash, a national, child-focused water safety campaign that stresses the importance of learning-to-swim, the USA Swimming Foundation supports the U.S. National Team and its development efforts aim to establish an endowment to strengthen the future of USA Swimming's programs and services. The Foundation also serves as the home for our National and Olympic Team Alumni reunions and regional events.

Media members interested in covering the event should apply for accreditation at no later than November 11.

The complete list of 2011 awards and nominees are as follows:

Breakout Performer of the Year
Alex Meyer
Tyler McGill
Ashley Twichell

Perseverance Award
Elizabeth Beisel
Alex Meyer
Peter Vanderkaay

Coach of the Year
Bob Bowman
Teri McKeever
Dave Salo
Todd Schmitz
Gregg Troy

Relay Performance of the Year
Women's 4×200 Free Relay (FINA World Championships)
Men's 4×200 Free Relay (FINA World Championships)
Women's 4×100 Medley Relay (FINA World Championships)
Men's 4×100 Medley Relay (FINA World Championships)

Female Performance of the Year
200 Backstroke (FINA World Championships) – Missy Franklin
100 Breaststroke (FINA World Championships) – Rebecca Soni
100 Butterfly (FINA World Championships) – Dana Vollmer
400 IM (FINA World Championships) – Elizabeth Beisel

Male Performance of the Year
200 Freestyle (FINA World Championships) – Ryan Lochte
200 Butterfly (FINA World Championships) – Michael Phelps
200 IM (FINA World Championships) – Ryan Lochte

Female Athlete of the Year
Elizabeth Beisel
Missy Franklin
Rebecca Soni
Dana Vollmer

Male Athlete of the Year
Ryan Lochte
Michael Phelps

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