2022 Swammy Awards: Heart of a Champion – Sawyer Hansen

To see all of our 2022 Swammy Awards, click here.

Eleven-year-old Sawyer Hansen has been named the recipient of the 2022 Heart of a Champion Swammy Award for his efforts in raising over $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Hansen first began his fundraising efforts at the age of 5 back in 2017 as part of a school “cares” project. From that project, he became inspired to help kids suffering from diseases like cancer. 

That year, Hansen performed the first “Sawyer Swims for St. Jude” hour at his local pool, completing 2,625 yards and raising $3,400. Since then, Hansen has completed the swim annually, keeping a running tally of all of his yards and his total amount of donations. 

This year, Hansen completed his longest swim yet, totaling 5,030 yards while raising a record $11,050. That brought his six-year total to 23,530 yards with $50,664 raised. 

Year Grade Yardage Money Raised
2017 Kindergarten 2,625 yards $3,400.00
2018 1st grade 3,000 yards $4,300.00
2019 2nd grade 3,900 yards $8,461.00
2020 3rd grade 4,300 yards $12,253.00
2021 4th grade 4,675 yards $11,200.00
2022 5th grade 5,030 yards $11,050.00
Totals 23,530 yards $50,664.00

Hansen currently competes for Saint Petersburg Aquatics and had a strong year in competition as well. He finished the 2022 season as the top-ranked 11-year-old in the country in the 800 freestyle LCM (9:24.30) by nearly 20 seconds. He also ranked 2nd in the country among 11-year-olds in the 400 freestyle (4:37.41). 

St. Jude is located in Memphis, Tennessee, with several affiliate hospitals located throughout the southern United States. The hospital typically serves approximately 8,000 patients each year, a majority of which are younger than 21 years old, and specializes in research for rare childhood diseases and cancers.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
B Joyce
1 year ago

Congrats, Sawyer! I’m happy — but not surprised! — to see that you’re still going strong and making your mark helping others. You’re an inspiration! Cheering you on from afar!

Karen Jaquish
1 year ago

Congratulations Sawyer! You are the embodiment of goodness in life and sports.
I hope others who read this article will donate to your 2023 swim at the end of this month. Fundraising.stjude.org. Sawyer swims for St. Jude

Charlotte Petersen
1 year ago

I used to pace him. No more, I can only cheer in awe from the deck these days. Sawyer, you are amazing.

1 year ago

What a fantastic kid with a huge heart!

1 year ago

It will be fun when he is able to get to the 6k mark and have a 100 average under a minute. Seems to be heading there quickly. Great work!

Also congrats on raising all that money!😁

Terry Watts
1 year ago

Rock Star!

1 year ago

Wohooo sawyer! Proud of you buddy

1 year ago

Anyone got problem about yards here? Congrats Sawyer!

Fred Lewis
Reply to  Swimpop
1 year ago

This morning during long course practice, one of the sets was 6 x 200 kick x 3:40. Sawyer would normally do 150’s. Bobby Finke challenged him to make 200’s on each one. Sawyer made the first one at 3:36 and proceeded to descent down to 3:06.00 on the last one. I guess if the Olympic Champion Challenges you, You Got to Do It.

Fred Lewis
Reply to  Swimpop
1 year ago

January 28th 5,287.5 yards in one hour. I asked him after the swim, “when are you going to get 6,000 yards in one hour. Answer, as soon as I can do 60 x 100 x 1:00.”

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

Read More »