Katie Ledecky Wins 3rd Consecutive Athlete Of The Year Award

Nation Capital’s Katie Ledecky was honored last night in Kansas City at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention as USA Swimming’s Athlete of the Year. This award comes after earning five gold medals at the FINA World Championships and earning FINA’s Swimmer of the meet award. This is the third consecutive year that Ledecky has won this award.

Along with her impressive medal haul, she also broke three World Records in Kazan. The first World Record came in prelims of the women’s 1500. The performance surprised her as she “cruised” her prelims swim. She came back in finals to lower the World Record to 15:25.48. Later, she destroyed her own world record in the women’s 800m freestyle, becoming the first woman in history to break 8:10 in the 800 with her time of  8:07.39.

She and her coach, Bruce Gemmell, have shared the accolades, both earning their third consecutive swimmer of the year awards and coach of the year awards, respectively.

Ledecky joins Ryan Lochte (2009-11) and Mike Barrowman (1989-91) as the only athletes to win three consecutive USA Swimming Athlete of the Year awards.

“I am honored to receive the Athlete of the Year award and Phillips 66 Performance Award. I would also like to express my appreciation to Phillips 66 as well as all of the sponsors and fans who back Team USA,” Ledecky said. “This would not be possible without the incredible support from everyone at USA Swimming and the USOC, my coach Bruce Gemmell, National Team Director Frank Busch and staff, Tom Ugast and coaches at Nation’s Capital Swim Club and all of my teammates there, and my trainer Lee Sommers. Many thanks to all of them and especially my family and to my great USA Swimming teammates for all of their support.”

A complete list of winners:

  • Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
  • Fran Crippen Memorial Male Swimmer of the Year: Jordan Wilimovsky
  • Glen S. Hummer Award: Catherine Vogt, Dave Kelsheimer, Dr. Josh White, Eric Posegay, Laurel Liberty, Bryce Elser
  • Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Lana Whitehead, SWIMkids USA (Mesa, Ariz.)
  • Trischa L. Zorn Award: Jessica Long
  • James Raymond “Jimi” Flowers Disability Coach of the Year: Queenie Nichols
  • Outstanding Disability Service Award: Aiken-Augusta Swim League
  • Make a Splash Hero Award: Liquid Lifesavers (Danville, Ill.)
  • Safe Sport Impact Award: Paul Stockett
  • Diversity Inclusion Award: Sue Anderson
  • Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Clark Hammond
  • ASCA Coach of the Year (Presented at the ASCA Convention): Bruce Gemmell
  • Developmental Coach of the Year: Tim O’Brien
  • Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Jack Roach
  • Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award: Katie Ledecky, 800m Free – 2015 FINA World Championships
  • USA Swimming Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky
  • USA Swimming Award: Rowdy Gaines

USA Swimming’s press release can be found below:


 KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third consecutive year, Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club) was named the USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and claimed the Phillips 66 Performance Award for the fourth straight year after a record-breaking swim in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2015 FINA World Championships. 

The awards were among the 17 presented at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention at the Marriott Downtown in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ledecky continued to stake her place among swimming’s all-time greats with five gold medals, four in individual events, at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. With victories in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events, Ledecky became the first swimmer to win gold in those four events at the same FINA World Championships.

She opened her meet in Kazan with a meet record in the 400m free (3:59.13) on Aug. 2 and followed with back-to-back world records in the 1500m free on Aug. 3 and 4, eclipsing her own world mark in the prelims followed by a world-record time of 15:25.48 and a 15-second victory in the 1500m final. Just one night later, she stepped down to the 200m free to take gold in 1:55.16 and wrapped up her meet Aug. 8 with a third world-record swim with gold in the 800m free in 8:07.39, a 10-second victory. Ledecky also anchored the Team USA women to a come-from-behind gold in the 4x200m free relay. She now has nine career World Championships medals – all gold.

“I am honored to receive the Athlete of the Year award and Phillips 66 Performance Award. I would also like to express my appreciation to Phillips 66 as well as all of the sponsors and fans who back Team USA,” Ledecky said. “This would not be possible without the incredible support from everyone at USA Swimming and the USOC, my coach Bruce Gemmell, National Team Director Frank Busch and staff, Tom Ugast and coaches at Nation’s Capital Swim Club and all of my teammates there, and my trainer Lee Sommers. Many thanks to all of them and especially my family and to my great USA Swimming teammates for all of their support.”

Ledecky joins Ryan Lochte (2009-11) and Mike Barrowman(1989-91) as the only athletes to win three consecutive USA Swimming Athlete of the Year awards. Michael Phelps is a five-time winner of the honor. She is also only the second-ever athlete to win the Phillips 66 Performance Award in four straight years, after Phelps earned the honor from 2006-09.

The 2015 USA Swimming Award was presented to Rowdy Gaines to recognize him for the most outstanding contribution to the sport. The USA Swimming Award is the highest honor in the sport of swimming.

“I am incredibly humbled by this award, mainly because I think swimming has given me so much more than I could ever imagine delivering to it,” Gaines said. “We are a family and I always have been and always will be a proud part of the greatest sport in the world.”

A three-time Olympic gold medalist, International Swimming Hall of Fame member and prominent television analyst on NBC, Gaines is one of swimming’s foremost ambassadors. His longtime work with the USA Swimming Foundation has been key in spreading the learn-to-swim message nationwide. Gaines currently serves as a USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador and works as the vice president of aquatics for the YMCA of Central Florida where his work building the sport of swimming at the grassroots level is immeasurable. Earlier this summer, Gaines was named one of the 30 Most Influential People in Swimming over the Past 30 Years.

For the third straight year, Ledecky’s coach, Bruce Gemmell, was honored as the American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year last month. Tim O’Brien of Nitro Swim Club (Austin, Texas) was named the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year.

In open water swimming, three awards were presented. Men’s 10-kilometer world champion and Team USA qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Team Santa Monica) was named the Fran Crippen Memorial Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year, while fellow FINA World Championships gold medalist and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team qualifier Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club) was named the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year. The Open Water coaching and support staff of the 2015 FINA World Championship team was presented with the Glen S. Hummer Award, given to the individuals making the greatest contribution to open water swimming for the year.

In disability swimming, 12-time Paralympic gold medalist (17 total medals) Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) earned the Trischa L. Zorn Award. The award is presented for the outstanding performance of the year by an adapted swimmer.

The Adolph Kiefer Safety Award was presented to Lana Whitehead, who has made a significant contribution to safe swimming through her development of the SWIMkids USA program and method. Her education, leadership, training and research are impactful, informative and have created an awareness of drowning prevention throughout the United States.  

Longtime coach, former USA Swimming Junior National Team Director and current athlete relations manager Jack Roach was awarded the Athletes’ Appreciation Award. The award recognizes the individual or organization perceived by the committee to have contributed most significantly to the Athletes’ Movement.

A complete list of winners:

  • Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year: Haley Anderson
  • Fran Crippen Memorial Male Swimmer of the Year: Jordan Wilimovsky 
  • Glen S. Hummer Award: Catherine Vogt, Dave Kelsheimer, Dr. Josh White, Eric Posegay, Laurel Liberty, Bryce Elser
  • Adolph Kiefer Safety Commendation Award: Lana Whitehead, SWIMkids USA (Mesa, Ariz.)
  • Trischa L. Zorn Award: Jessica Long
  • James Raymond “Jimi” Flowers Disability Coach of the Year: Queenie Nichols
  • Outstanding Disability Service Award: Aiken-Augusta Swim League
  • Make a Splash Hero Award: Liquid Lifesavers (Danville, Ill.)
  • Safe Sport Impact Award: Paul Stockett
  • Diversity Inclusion Award: Sue Anderson
  • Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award: Clark Hammond
  • ASCA Coach of the Year (Presented at the ASCA Convention): Bruce Gemmell
  • Developmental Coach of the Year: Tim O’Brien
  • Athletes’ Appreciation Award: Jack Roach
  • Phillips 66 Performance of the Year Award: Katie Ledecky, 800m Free – 2015 FINA World Championships
  • USA Swimming Athlete of the Year: Katie Ledecky
  • USA Swimming Award: Rowdy Gaines

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mikeh

Richly earned!

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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