GQ Russia Names Evgeny Rylov Sportsman of the Year

21-year old Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov has been named the GQ Russia Sportsman of the Year.

GQ is a men’s fashion, style, and culture magazine that includes at least 9 editions, including the one in Russia.

“We live in the era of great swimmers: Alexander Popov, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps took turns writing the history of this sport. After the “dry” period of 14 years without victories, Evgeny Rylov returned Russia to the elite of the world Championships.”

After that World Championship in 2017 in the 200 back, Rylov was out of the pool for months while rehabbing a shoulder injury. He returned in time for the European Championships, where he won 4 medals (2 gold), including a victory in the 200 back in 1:53.36. That broke his own European Record of 1:53.61, as well as the Championship Record of 1:55.28 set by Radoslaw Kawecki in 2012.

Among the other finalists in voting for the award were Habib Nurmagomedov, Fedor Smolov, Nikita Gusev and Alexander Zverev. Not winning Sportsman of the Year, but instead promoted to GQ Man of the Year, was soccer forward Artem Dzyuba, who led Russia to the quarterfinals of the home World Cup in 2018. That was Russia’s highest finish since before the dissolution of the Soviet Union (they were 7th in 1982).

Rylov is the first swimmer to win the award.

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Tammy Touchpad Error
2 years ago

Why..? Kolesnikov broke 2 WRs in the past year. Even Chupkov’s Euro performances are better. Is a 2:06 not better than a 1:53? What am I missing here?

Reply to  Tammy Touchpad Error
2 years ago

My guess is that he was chosen over them in part due to his 2017 success even though this is an “of the year” award. The excerpt from the GQ article “After the ‘dry’ period of 14 years without victories, Evgeny Rylov returned Russia to the elite of the world Championships” kind of shows that they are looking in part to show off a little bit by recognizing a “world champion”. He was still the best in the world at his event this past season and his reputation might make him more marketable for the magazine that’s giving him the award.

Reply to  Tammy Touchpad Error
2 years ago

It’s a fashion magazine, maybe they just find him prettier.

2 years ago

Rylov remains a mere aquatic talent in an era where most swimmers become, every year, more powerful and bulky.
Every award he gains is well deserved to remind that in swimming there are different “winning skills”.

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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