FINA Names Franklin, Phelps World Swimmers of the Year

FINA has announced today their recipients of the 2012 World Athletes of the Year in each of the 5 disciplines that they represent, and among them are a pair who have been racking up honors this year: Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, named Swimmers of the Year.

This is the 2nd-straight award for Franklin, who was honored in the 2011 season as well, and Phelps’ first-ever. His rival Ryan Lochte had won the only two other versions of this award (2010 and 2011).

The open water awards were predictably given to the respective Olympic Champions. Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, who in less than 6 months went from his first open water 10k to an Olympic gold medal, took the men’s honor in addition to a bronze medal in the 1500; Hungary’s Eva Risztov was the women’s gold medalist.

In water polo, the men’s honoree was Croatian Josip Pavic who led his team to a 2012 double by winning both the World League title and an Olympic gold medal. He led an unbelievable defensive performance where the Croats only allowed 2, 5, and 6 goals in the bracket-phase of the Olympic tournament en route to the championship. The two goals allowed to the Americans in the quarterfinals was the lowest scoring output in the entire competition.

American Maggie Steffens won the women’s award, which was no shock to anybody. Despite at 18 being the youngest member of Olympic and World League Champions Team USA, Steffens led the Olympic tournament with 21 goals (on a stunning 78% shooting). She announced her arrival in the team’s first match against the mighty Hungarians by tying an Olympic record with 7 goals.

The awards are voted on by each of FINA’s 202 member federations, and all of the winners are listed below.

Men: Michael Phelps (USA)
2012 Olympic champion in 200m IM, 100m fly, 4x100m medley, 4x200m free; Olympic silver medallist in 200m fly and 4x100m free

Women: Missy Franklin (USA)
2012 Olympic champion in 200m back, 100m back, 4x200m free and 4x100m medley; Olympic bronze medallist in 4x100m free

Men: Ilya Zakharov (RUS)
2012 Olympic champion in 3m springboard and silver medallist in 3m springboard synchro
Women: Wu Minxia (CHN)
2012 Olympic champion in 3m springboard and 3m springboard synchro

Men: Josip Pavic (CRO)
2012 Olympic champion; 2012 World League winner
Women: Maggie Steffens (USA)
2012 Olympic champion; 2012 World League winner

Natalia Ishchenko (RUS)
2012 Olympic champion in Duet and Team 

Men: Oussama Mellouli (TUN)
2012 Olympic champion in 10km and bronze medallist in 1500m free 
Women: Eva Risztov (HUN)
2012 Olympic champion in 10kmFranklin_Melissa


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2 Comments on "FINA Names Franklin, Phelps World Swimmers of the Year"

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Philip Johnson

well deserved by Phelps and Franklin!

So that’s what FINA does while it’s not keeping the sport clean from drugs or protecting open water swimmers from extreme heat. Good to know they do something other than receive money and spend it on first class travel for themselves.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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