Ledecky, Dressel, Finke, Jacoby Nominated for 3 Golden Goggles Awards Each

USA Swimming has announced the nominees for the 2021 Golden Goggles Awards. The 2021 edition will be hosted in Miami on December 7 – the event’s first time outside of LA or New York since first being held in 2004.

The event will be hosted by Mike Tirico, the famed NBC sports personality and commentator who first waded into swimming over the summer as the television play-by-play caller next to Rowdy Gaines during the U.S. Olympic Trials.

A committee will vote, and that will be combined along with a fan vote (in an undisclosed ratio) to decide the winners. Online fan voting is open through November 18.

As is tradition, nominees for the Male and Female Athlete of the Year include individual medalists from each year’s “Operation Gold” meet, which this year was the Olympic Games.

Katie LedeckyCaeleb DresselLydia Jacoby, and Bobby Finke lead all athletes with three nominations each.

  • SwimSwam’s unofficial ballot will be produced later this week.

2021 Golden Goggles Nominees

Breakout Performer of the Year
This award is given to the athlete whose performance(s) stand out in relation to other years, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

Perseverance Award
This award is given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, sickness, injury, etc., to have an outstanding performance(s) in 2021, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

Coach of the Year
This award is given to the coach whose athlete(s) performed at the highest level throughout the year, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

  • Ron Aitken
  • Jack Bauerle
  • Todd DeSorbo
  • Greg Meehan
  • Anthony Nesty
  • Gregg Troy

Relay Performance of the Year
This award is given to the best team relay performance, male or female. The performance considered must be a finals performance, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

  • Women’s 4 x 200m Free Relay (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Men’s 4 x 100m Free Relay (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay (2020 Olympic Games)

Female Race of the Year
This award is given to the female swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

  • Lydia Jacoby – 100m Breaststroke (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Katie Ledecky – 800m Freestyle (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Katie Ledecky – 1500m Freestyle (2020 Olympic Games)

Male Race of the Year 

This award is given to the male swimmer with the greatest single individual race of the year, with special emphasis on the 2020 Olympic Games.

  • Caeleb Dressel – 100m Freestyle (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Caeleb Dressel – 100m Butterfly (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Bobby Finke – 800m Freestyle (2020 Olympic Games)
  • Chase Kalisz – 400m Individual Medley (2020 Olympic Games)

Female Athlete of the Year 

This award is given to the top female swimmer of the year with special emphasis on achievements at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Male Athlete of the Year 

This award is given to the top male swimmer of the year with special emphasis on achievements at the 2020 Olympic Games.

On November 29, the Golden Goggles online silent auction will open with all proceeds benefiting the USA Swimming Foundation. Please visit www.usaswimming.org/foundation#golden-goggle-awards for more information.

 

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Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
10 days ago

Female athlete of the year is just not there

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
10 days ago

My takes for golden goggles
Breakout performer of the year- Jacoby
Perseverance- Lazor
Coach of the year- DeSorbo
Relay of the year- women’s 4×200 (I know the men’s medley will probably win but that women’s race was so fun to watch and my fav race of the Olympics)
Men’s race- Finke 800m
Women’s race- Jacoby 100 breast
Male swimmer- dressel
Female swimmer- ledecky

wow

I agree, expect Nesty over Desorbo and Finke over Jacoby for breakout.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  wow
10 days ago

It was really hard to decide between Jacoby and Finke

96Swim
Reply to  wow
10 days ago

Breakout seems like the hardest choice. Finke’s two gold medals are tough to top, but Jacoby’s gold feels a lot more unexpected. Finke was already established at NCAAs, Jacoby came out of Alaska, and was probably unknown to a lot of folks before trials, and she beat Lilly King, which was unimaginable before the Olympics.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  96Swim
10 days ago

^^ yeah thats why i voted jacoby

Penguin

I don’t want to diminish anyone’s struggles, and all three of those swimmers have shown incredible perseverance (and many more have as well). Though from what I’ve heard and what I know, my vote would go to Tom Shields. Bringing yourself from truly the lowest point possible to being a champion (and a healthy, happy one) is the best example of perseverance I can think of .

Big mac #1
Reply to  Penguin
10 days ago

Same

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Penguin
10 days ago

1000% agree on Tom Shields. That’ll be an interesting vote, I could see Shields getting like 95% from folks here.

Tony

Relay of the Year has to go to the Men’s 4x100m medley. Gold and a WR. The Men’s 4x100m free wasn’t a WR and the Women’s 4x200m free wasn’t even a gold.

Kelly
Reply to  Tony
10 days ago

yeah and not to mention, the pressure of keeping the streak alive in the medley relay.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Kelly
10 days ago

And almost unbelievably it was the first men’s relay supersuit WR broken

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Tony
10 days ago

yeah I really only voted for the womens 4×200 for personal preference just because of how much I liked that race (Aussies being the favorite and losing, Katie redeeming herself in a 200, the comeback, all three teams being under the WR time), and I think it would be a no-brainer winner if they had pulled it off (and probably broken the world record)

But the men’s medley relay was a better US performance and it deserves the award more

Shhhh

women’s 800 free relay was easily the most thrilling and best to watch but the men’s meadly was just more impressive

M d e

Breakout performer of the year- Jacoby
Perseverance- Shields
Coach of the year- Ron Aitken
Relay of the year- Mens Medley
Men’s race- Dressel 100 Free
Women’s race- Ledecky 800 Free
Male swimmer- Dressel
Female swimmer- Ledecky

Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

I think there should be a special Golden Goggles Award for Michael Andrew. To me, he was one of the big stars of 2021.

Think back to January, 2020. It was questionable whether he’d even make the US Olympic team. He’d be fighting for the 2nd spot in the 50 with Nathan Adrian, and the 100 breast was also a tossup. No one penciled him for a 200 IM slot.

Fast-forward to US Olympic trials 18 months later and he won places in 3 events (including an American record in the 100 breast). He didn’t quite hit his taper in Tokyo but he final-ed in all his individual events and got just-out-of-the-medals finishes. Then he earned a gold… Read more »

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

did you drink too much last night

Let’s Go Brandon!

No. I’m a teetotaler providing a sober assessment. I think MA will continue to learn and improve all the way to Paris.

Dressel in 2021:
2 WRs (100 fly, 400 med relay); tied 1 American Record (his own 50)

MA (2021):
1 WR (400 med relay); 1 AR (100 breast)

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

Dressel in Tokyo:
-5 golds
-World Record in 1fly

MA in Tokyo:
-Choke job
-Caused big anti-vaxxer crisis
-Yeah there’s the really but he also had 3 of the best men in the world on his team soooooo

Caeleb’s left suit string

The relay where he went one of the fastest American splits of all time

Bobthebuilderrocks

You can’t “choke” when you perform better than you are expected to. I don’t think many people expected MA to make 3 individual events, ranging from a 50 up to a 200 and get 4th place in all 3. Also I’d say that MA is better at the 100 breast than Zapple is at the 100 free.

Troyy
Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
10 days ago

He didn’t perform better than expected tho. The expectation was that he get near his trials times at Tokyo and he didn’t. Not only that but he swam his fastest time in the 100 breast and 200 IM in the heats.

katie’s gator arc
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

lmao nathan adrian deserves a special award over MA

Last edited 10 days ago by katie’s gator arc
Mister 17.6 no fins
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

It’s hard to be a star, when Caeleb Remel Dressel exists.

Joel
Reply to  Mister 17.6 no fins
10 days ago

Is that his middle name? It doesn’t really flow.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Joel
10 days ago

It’s not like angels had to sing his name repeatedly to herald his birth

Joel
Reply to  iLikePsych
10 days ago

😂maybe they did

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Joel
10 days ago

I think it’s iconic tbh

whever
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
10 days ago

he had contracted the virus in January and developed antibodies in that fashion.

This comment deserves all the downvotes for this sentence only.

Virtus
10 days ago

Lowkey the perserverence thing is kinda weird it’s like the winner is who went through the most shit which is so subjective

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Braden Keith
10 days ago

Seems like half of the winners are, “someone that missed a team the last cycle that made it this time.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Goggle_Awards#Perseverance_Award

CanSwim13
10 days ago

Seems like the athletes of the year for both male and female are no longer restricted to having won an individual gold (Smith, King, Murphy) like in years past.. ex. Caeleb being the only nominee in 2019

Ervin
Reply to  CanSwim13
10 days ago

Well on the women’s side, Ledecky and Jacoby are the only two individual gold medalists. On the men’s its just Dressel, Finke and Kalisz

Deepblue
10 days ago

I would give perseverance to Tom Shields, but then again Annie Lazor DID have to put up with Lilly King for an entire extra year. Tough call.

AmericanDad
10 days ago

If you aren’t voting for Aitken as coach of the year you are insane. 3 Olympians active with SAND, 2 of which were 18U (Erica deferred college for 2 years to continue with her dream), 1 Olympian that was developed by SAND (Becker). 3 total medals, 2 Silver 1 Gold and a 4th place finish by Grimes in the 800.

This was done without having similar resources as those college coaches and professional athletes, no team pool (sandpipers use county, city, and YMCA facilities), and spending a ton of time swimming in lakes when pools were closed and/or limited due to COVID.

Sullivan/Sims/Grimes are athletes truly developed by Ron and his training system at the Sandpipers. It’s one thing for… Read more »

M d e
Reply to  AmericanDad
10 days ago

I 100% agree.

matt
10 days ago

female athlete is ledecky by an inch

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  matt
10 days ago

Her performance at the Olympics was better than any other us female by a mile regardless of her off times

Shhhh
Reply to  matt
10 days ago

Two individual golds one silver and a clutch relay performance it’s not even close

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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