2013 Swammy Awards: Latin American Male Swimmer of the Year

With a remarkable turnaround following double knee surgery at the end of 2012, the 2013 Latin American Male Swimmer of the Year Swammy goes to world record holder sprinter Cesar Cielo of Brazil.  After a sub-standard performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics (only for a swimmer like Cielo is an individual bronze medal “sub-standard”), Cielo underwent surgery on both knees in October that fall, with the lengthy recovery and loss of training time looking like it would severely impact his 2013 season.  Cielo changed his seasonal plan, focusing strictly on the drop-dead sprint events for the 2013 World Championships (the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly).

Working with a reduced schedule at Worlds, Cielo defended his 2011 titles, touching in 21.32 in the 50 freestyle and 23.01 in the 50 butterfly (he was 22.86 in semis).  Notably, that freestyle swim was also the #1 textile performance of all time, giving him his sixth individual long course World Championship title, the same number as all-time greats Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe.

The remainder of 2013 continued to be busy for Cielo.  In October, he began training in Tempe, Arizona with new Mesa Aquatics (which recently merged with Sun Devil Aquatics) National Training Group – Post-Grad Director and former teammate Scott Goodrich, and most recently competed at the Minneapolis Grand Prix, turning in some pretty respectable times in the 50 yard freestyle (18.83), 100 free (41.90), and 100 fly (46.19).  He also recently secured a new sponsorship deal with Furnas in his home country of Brazil, which also contributes to Novos Cielos, a foundation that teaches children to swim.

Honorable Mentions

  • Although he didn’t ultimately come away with a medal at World Championships, Nicholas Santos of Brazil had the fastest time in the world in 2013 in the 50 meter butterfly.
  • Between his collegiate success and his improvement in the long course pool, Marcelo Chierighini had quite a year.  He was a runner-up at the 2013 NCAA Championships in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles to only Vlad Morozov, the fastest sprinter in NCAA history, and then came back in the to post a lifetime best in the 50 (where he finished 10th) and 100 (6th) meter freestyles this summer.
  • George Bovell III earned his first long course World Championship individual sprint medal in the 50 meter freestyle, where he finished third out of lane eight in 21.51.
  • After missing out on the podium in the 200 individual medley for a large part of his career (thanks to the trio of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Laszlo Cseh), Thiago Pereira finally took home a medal in the event, finishing with a bronze.   He also finished third in the 400 IM, obtaining his first long course World Championship medal in that event.
  • Felipe Lima made history for Brazil, grabbing a bronze medal in the men’s 100 breaststroke at Worlds last summer.  After breaking a minute for the first time ever in semifinals (59.84, good for the fifth seed), Lima touched in 59.65 in finals, winning the first World Championship medal for Brazil in the 100 breaststroke.

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About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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