The Third Annual Big Splash Awards were held this evening at the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto.
Before the event the Sacramento Bee published a statement made by Canadian Minister of Sport Bal Gosal on the Gala, “I’m very pleased that Swimming Canada, in partnership with CANSwim, is presenting the 2012 Big Splash Awards to recognize Canadians who have excelled in the sport of swimming at the international level this year.”
The Government of Canada is proud to support Canadian athletes at all levels, including those who represented our country at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. Our Canadian swimmers brought home four gold, nine silver and three bronze medals from the Paralympic Games, as well as a silver and two bronze medals from the Olympic Games. These athletes are outstanding role models for Canadians of all ages, and particularly for young Canadians.”
Vancouver Dolphins and National Swim Centre Vancouver’s Martha McCabe took home the OMEGA Female Swimmer of the year award. McCabe who is a Toronto native moved to Vancouver five years ago to swim with Jozsef Nagy and train with his strong group of female breaststrokers which in the last year included former World Record holder in the 200 breaststroke Annmay Pierse and fellow 2012 Olympian Tera Van Beilen.
McCabe followed up a breakout year in 2011 when she won bronze in the 200 breaststroke at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai by qualifying for her first Olympic team and finishing fifth in the 200 breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics.
Last weekend at the Canada Cup she was also given the title of Breaststroke Female Swimmer of the Year.
Ryan Cochrane who swims with Island Swimming and The Victoria Academy of Swimming won the OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year award. Cochrane who the bronze medal in the 1500 freestyle at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing has accomplished a lot since that point including four World Championship medals, two Commonwealth golds in the 400 and 1500 freestyle and two golds at the Pan Pacific Championships in the 800 and 1500 freestyle.
Cochrane ended the quadrennial by winning silver in the 1500 freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics.
Last weekend at the Canada Cup he was also honoured with the Distance Freestyle Male Swimmer of the Year Award.
Pacific Coast Swimming’s Richard Wienberger earned The Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award. By winning a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 10-km marathon, Canada’s third, Wienberger finished off Canadian Swimming’s most successful Olympics since 1984.
Before the Olympic Games Weinberger was already having an impressive year winning finishing second at the FINA Marathon World Cup in Argentina and third in a World Cup in Brazil.
Benoit Huot (Piscine Parc Olymique, Montreal) won the TAS Para-swimming Male Swimmer of the Year Award. Huot who won six medals in 2000 in Sydney (3 Gold and 3 Silver), six medals in 2004 in Sydney (5 Gold and 1 Silver), four medals in Beijing (4 Bronze) followed up that success by winning three medals in London (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze) along with breaking the World Record in the 200 IM.
After his incredible accomplishments in London and throughout his career Huot was given the honour of being Canada’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games.
Ducks Swimming’s Summer Mortimer won the TAS Para-Swimming Female Swimmer of the Year. Mortimer who burst onto the international scene at the 2011 Pan Pacific Games winning five medals (2 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze) competed at her first Paralympic Games in London. At the games the 19 year old from Ancaster, Ontario won four medals (2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze).
Island Swimming and The Victoria Academy of Swimming’s Coach Randy Bennett won the OMEGA Coach of the Year- Male Swimmer award. Along with coaching Ryan Cochrane Bennett was the Head Coach of the Olympic Team.
Jozsef Nagy of the National Swim Centre Vancouver won the OMEGA Coach of the Year -Female Swimmer award. Nagy coaches Martha McCabe.
Beniot Huot’s coach Pierre Lamy of Piscine Parc Olymique, Montreal won the BFL Coach of the Year Male Para-Swimmer award
Coach of the Year Female Para-Swimmer award was won by Reg Chappell of Duck’s Swimming who is the coach of Summer Mortimer.
Legendary Open Water Coach Ron Jacks took home Open Water Coach of the Year for the work he did with Richard Weinberger
Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association Club Coach of the Year Award went to Sean Baker of the Oakville Aquatic who lead his team to a Canadian Age Group Championship Title.
1992 Canadian 100 backstroke Olympic Champion Mark Tewksbury was also honoured with Swimming Canada’s Impact Award. Tewksbury has been a sporting advocate in the country at many levels and most recently served as Canada’s chef de mission at the London Olympics.