Missy Franklin has been nominated for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Award in the Individual Sport category. Each year, the Women’s Sports Foundation allows sports fans to cast their votes for whom they think is the most outstanding female athlete over the past year. As described by their website, the Women’s Sports Foundation has selected it’s nominees based on their achievements between August 13th, 2012 and July 31st, 2013. The winner of the award is selected by a 50-50 vote, where 50% of the vote comes from the public, and 50% comes from an Awards Committee.
For Missy Franklin, this qualification period encompasses all of her achievements after the London Olympics. Therefore, this includes her 4 wins at the World Championship Trials, and all of her golds from the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, amongst other honors as well. Missy’s competition within the Individual Sport category includes Mao Asada (Japan, Figure Skating), Kelly Clark (United States, Snowboarding), Tina Maze (Slovenia, Alpine Skiing), Tatyana McFadden (United States, Paralympic Track & Field), Inbee Park (South Korea, Golf), Jenn Suhr (United States, Track & Field), and Serena Williams (United States, Tennis).
The Women’s Sport Foundation was founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, and has dedicated itself to “advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity”. Swimmers have been well represented in the Individual Sport category since its inception in 1993, with Amy Van Dyken (1996), Jenny Thompson (2000), and Natalie Coughlin (2003) all winning the award in past years. Before 1993, when the award had two different categories (Professional and Amateur), Tracy Caulkins (1981) and Janet Evans (1989) both won the award in the Amateur category as well.
Franklin’s nomination comes less than one week after it was announced that she would co-host the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 24th. Franklin’s rise to high-profile athlete and national icon status has been nothing short of remarkable as she continues to be one of the most visible female swimmers in and out of the pool in recent memory. Fans can vote for Franklin at the competition’s landing page, which can be found here.