USA Swimming is preparing for the 2015 Golden Goggles Awards and are beginning to release the nominees for the 2015 Awards. The Golden Goggles Awards are presented by the USA Swimming Foundation every year to celebrate the top swimmers and coaches’ achievements over the last year.
There are eight categories: Breakout Performer of the Year, Coach of the Year, Perseverance Award, Relay Performance of the Year, Male Performance of the Year, Female Performance of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, and Female Athlete of the Year.
USA Swimming announced that Kevin Cordes, Connor Jaeger, and Allison Schmitt are the nominees for the 2015 Perseverance award. The award is given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, sickness, injury, etc., to have an outstanding performance(s) in 2015, with special emphasis on the 2015 FINA World Championships.
KEVIN CORDES – Kevin Cordes put the disappointment of disqualifications at the 2013 FINA World Championships and 2014 Pan Pacific Championships behind him to deliver a four-medal performance at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan. Individually, Cordes won silver in the 200m breast in 2:08.05 and posted a lifetime best and American record of 28.76 in his 50m breast semifinal before earning bronze in the final. On the final night of competition, Cordes swam on Team USA’s 4x100m medley relay, which earned gold in 3:29.93. He added silver in the 4x100m mixed medley relay. Earlier in 2015, Cordes capped his decorated collegiate career with a win in the 100y breast and a runner-up finish in the 200y breast for the University of Arizona at the NCAA Championships.
CONNOR JAEGER – After narrowly missing the podium with fourth-place finishes in the 400m and 800m free in his first two events at the 2015 FINA World Championships, Connor Jaeger put it all together to make the most of his final race in Kazan – the 1500m free final. With a strong finish, he won the silver medal and broke an 11-year-old American record by more than 4 seconds to touch in 14:41.20. Since placing sixth in the 1500m free at the 2012 Olympic Games, Jaeger has established himself as Team USA’s top men’s distance freestyler and has captured five international medals over the past three summers.
ALLISON SCHMITT – Olympic gold medalist Allison Schmitt bounced back in a big way in 2015 with a gold-medal performance and a Pan American Games record of 1:56.23 in the 200m free in Toronto. In her first international competition since the 2012 Olympic Games, Schmitt added three relay medals at Pan Ams to wrap up the Games with four total medals, including three gold. At Phillips 66 Nationals, Schmitt claimed the national title in the 200m free and a runner-up finish in the 100m free. Outside the pool, Schmitt opened up this year about her battle with post-Olympic depression with the aim of helping others gain the courage oftentimes needed to seek help.