Gymnast Gabby Douglas Tops Franklin, Long for Sportswoman of the Year Award

The only woman whose Olympic star shone as brightly as that of 5-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin at the Olympics upended the three aquatics nominees for the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year award.

Douglas won two golds at the 2012 Summer Olympics: one as a part of the women’s gymnastics team, and one as the all-around champion. Her individual title was considered to be a huge upset, as she became the first woman to win the all-around title without taking a single medal in an individual discipline.

Aside from Franklin, Paralympic  ChampionJessica Long was also nominated in the individual sport category, and water polo player Maggie Steffens was nominated for the team sport category.

The award, which was voted on by fans, has gone to swimmers four times in history: Amy van Dyken (1996), Jenny Thompson (2000), Natalie Coughlin (2003), and paralympian Erin Popovich (2005).

The award was announced tonight in a ceremony in New York City. The team sports Woman of the Year award went to American soccer player Alex Morgan, who spurred Team USA to Olympic gold.

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Philip Johnson

even from an impartial perspective, if you compare the two athletes on paper, i’m not seeing how Douglas tops Franklin.

Swimmer 2

Race has a lot to do with it. Seriously, though…

That’s pretty ignorant… The award is voted on by the people, and last I checked, Whites greatly outnumbered Blacks in America…

Swimmer 2

Not ignorant at all. Her being the first African-American woman (or first woman of color from any country) to win a gymnastics all-around gold was highly publicized. In my opinion, it’s a shame that we’re still keeping track of these sorts of things, but it still weighs heavily in the public eye.


They are both deserving. They are both phenomenal. I wish swimmers won more of or all the awards too. Also, these are awards–name any award show where the person “you” think is most deserving actually wins. Congrats to Missy for being in the mix and I’m sure she’ll win many more awards in the future.

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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