FINA Names Ryan Lochte, Katie Ledecky 2013 Swimmers of the Year

FINA has announced their 2013 Athletes of the Year across their 6 disciplines, as voted upon by 674 voters from across aquatic sports, with the focus almost exclusively a focus on the World Championships for selection.

The Americans have swept the FINA Swimmer of the Year awards for the third-straight year, as Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte took the female and male honors after winning a combined 7 World Championships in 2013. That is Ledecky’s 1st award and Lochte’s 3rd; since the awards began in 2010, the only non-American to win the award was Sweden’s Therese Alshammar in 2010.

For the first time since 2011, China swept the diving awards. Zi He, the 2013 World Champion on both the 1 meter and the 3 meter, as well as the winner of the overall 3 meter ranking on the FINA 2013 World Series tour, won the Women’s Diver of the Year award. Her counterpart Chong He won the men’s award after winning both the 3-meter and the synchronized 3-meter at Worlds.

This year was the first ever honor for high divers, FINA’s newest discipline, and saw the two World Champions take home the hardware: Colombia’s Orlando Duque on the men’s side and American Cesilie Carlton on the women’s side.

In water polo, the best player on the best teams won each award. The men’s honor went to Denes Varga of Hungary, who was the World Championships MVP, and the women’s award went to Jennifer Pareja, of the revived host Spanish team.

The Synchronized Swimmer of the Year award was a no-brainer, going to Svetlana Romashina for the 2nd time (she also won in 2011). She was the World Champion in the solo free, solo technical, duet free, and duet technical disciplines in Barcelona. That’s gold in four of the seven offered synchro events.

And finally, in open water swimming, FINA matched the Swammy awards. The men’s honor went to Thomas Lurz, the winner of the 25km and contributor to Germany’s gold in the 5km team event at Worlds; meanwhile, Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto took the women’s honor.

The full awards, with a complete description of accomplishments, are below, courtesy of FINA:

Men: Ryan Lochte (USA)

2013 World Champion in the 200m back, 200m IM and 4x200m free; 2013 World silver medalist in the 4x100m free. FINA Athlete of the Year in 2010 and 2011.

Women: Katie Ledecky (USA)
2013 World Champion in the 400m, 800m (in a WR time) and 1500m free (in a WR time), and 4x200m free. 

Men: Chong He (CHN)

2013 World Champion in individual and synchronized 3m springboard; 2013 World Series – second in the overall 3m springboard ranking.

Women: Zi He (CHN)
2013 World Champion in the 1m and 3m individual springboard; 2013 World Series – winner of the overall 3m springboard ranking.

Men: Orlando Duque (COL)

2013 World Champion.

Women: Cesilie Carlton (USA)
2013 World Champion.

Men: Denes Varga (HUN)

2013 World Champion, MVP in Barcelona; 2013 World League – silver.

Women: Jennifer Pareja (ESP)
2013 World Champion, MVP in Barcelona.

Svetlana Romashina (RUS)

2013 World Champion in solo free, solo technical, duet free and duet technical. FINA Athlete of the Year in 2011.

Men: Thomas Lurz (GER)

2013 World Champion in 25km and Team event; 2013 World silver medalist in 10km; 2013 World bronze medalist in 5km; 2013 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup – winner. FINA Athlete of the Year in 2011.

Women: Poliana Okimoto (BRA)
2013 World Champion in 10km; 2013 World silver medalist in 5km; 2013 World bronze medalist in Team event.

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6 years ago

Congrats to Ryan and Katie and to all the winners. Well deserved

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Sun Yang has been named by FINA male swimmer of the meet at the world championships in Barcelona. And now they name Ryan Lochte male swimmer of the year. Very weird.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Agreed.. While Sun Perfomances (Except 200 free and his 200 free split) where not on par with his 2012 times.. he showed how ahead of the field he is, and he also broke the 49 barrier.. showing how good he is across all freestyle distance..

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

It is for the whole year though – not just one meet (though Worlds is obviously a big influence). But the cynic in me does wonder if the whole going to prison thing may have swayed some of the voting.

And a quick note for Braden, there are 7 Synchronised Swimming events at Worlds, not 5. (And I still think it’s ridiculous that they decided to share the Synchro award in 2011.)

Reply to  Hannah
6 years ago

Hannan.. Sun on Chinese Games went a 1.44 mid and entered the group of guys who can go from a sub 49 and a near 48 flat split on 100 free, and other amazing times on other events on the same year,,

Philip Johnson
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

“They” (FINA) didn’t really choose the swimmers of the years.

From their website, “Organised by the “FINA Aquatics World Magazine”, this selection had a important participation of 674 voters, coming from the FINA National Federations, FINA Committees, media, partners and experts in Aquatic sports.”

6 years ago

The quality of Lochte’s 200 IM and 200 back swims were better than Yang’s 400/800/1500 swims.

bobo gigi
Reply to  aswimfan
6 years ago

I don’t criticize the choice of Ryan Lochte over Sun Yang. I wonder why Sun Yang has been named male swimmer of the world championships and not male swimmer of the year. It’s just a question of logic.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Especially since he was injured and did not do very much during the short course season. It’s not like Lochte set a few WC records or dominated Duel in the Pool to swing things in his favor.

Reply to  mcgillrocks
6 years ago

I actually sort of disagree with the choice as well.

Personally, I’d pick Le Clos, just because he is the only male swimmer to have broke WRs last year and he strongly dominated the World Cup.

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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