At the FINA/Alisports World Aquatics Gala last night, just before the start of the 2016 World SC Championships, FINA announced the winners of their 2016 awards. Taking the Swimmer of the Year awards were American Michael Phelps for the men and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu for the women. FINA cites in a media release the importance of athletes’ performances in Rio, and how they “largely determin[ed] the outcome” of the awards.
Phelps, who needs no introduction, added to his Olympic legacy this summer with six more medals, five of which were gold. The G.O.A.T. earned individual golds in the 200 fly and 200 IM and a silver in the 100 fly. He was a key relay leg, swimming on all of the USA’s relays which all won gold. This looks to be a legitimate retirement for MP, who rounds out his incredible career with 23 gold and 28 total Olympic medals across five different Games.
Hosszu, meanwhile, finally earned her first Olympic golds after years of dominance without such a medal. She took home golds in the 200 and 400 IM as well as the 100 back, and added a silver in the 200 back. With four total medals, Hosszu out-did any other swimmer in Rio with the most individual medals. Additionally, she cracked the world record in the 400 IM, taking it to an eye-popping 4:26.36 with a huge win, and took down the Olympic record in the 200 IM.
Before the conclusion of the ceremony last night in Windsor, FINA had a special award to give out. To honor the greatest ever, FINA named the “Aquatic Legend, the Greatest of All Time” award to Phelps. He ends his career as the most successful Olympian of all time.