World Champion Dolphins Mollie O’Callaghan and Rowan Crothers have capped their extraordinary 2022 campaigns with the top prizes at tonight’s 2022 Swimming Australia Awards.
The freestyle duo reaffirmed their positions as two of international swimming’s premier athletes, claiming the Olympic and Paralympic Swimmer of the Year awards respectively.
2022 represented a remarkable rise for O’Callaghan including winning 13 medals across the FINA World Championships and Birmingham Commonwealth Games, becoming the youngest woman in 30 years to win the 100m freestyle World Championship and being a member of two World Record breaking relay teams.
For Crothers, it was a year in which he cemented himself as the fastest male freestyle sprinter with a disability in the world, securing the 50m/100m double at the World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal.
Nicholas Sloman meantime was named Open Water Swimmer of the Year after securing the 5km/10km double at the Australian Championships before an impressive three race campaign at the Open Water World Championships in Budapest in June.
Swimming Australia CEO, Eugénie Buckley, congratulated the star Dolphins trio on their incredible achievements.
“We are immensely proud of all that Rowan, Mollie and Nicholas have achieved this year and fortunate to have ambassadors for our sport like them that represent the commitment, excellence and humility so central to being a Dolphin,” Buckley said.
“Their accolades are reflective of the collective success of our Dolphins teams across this incredible year, including our most successful overseas Commonwealth Games campaign on record and a piece of history in Portugal that saw our Para World Championship team become the first Australian travelling swim team where every eligible athlete returned home with a medal.”
“This team continues to set the standard and, in doing so, inspires the next generation of Dolphins and for that they deserve our admiration and respect. Tonight has been a fitting celebration of all our athletes have achieved, in conjunction with their coaches and the support staff, while representing us with such pride on the international stage.”
The 2022 Swimming Australia Awards also marked a significant celebration of the sport’s history, with the unveiling of the first inductees into the recently launched Swimming Australia Hall of Fame, established to recognise and celebrate those who have left an indelible mark on the sport at the international level.
Australian swimming royalty Fred Lane (Dolphin #1), Fanny Durack (Dolphin #9), Dawn Fraser (Dolphin #86), Shane Gould (Dolphin #214) and Ian Thorpe (Dolphin #494) were all named in the inaugural class of inductees.
Dean Boxall was crowned both Olympic and Youth Coach of the Year alongside Kate Sparkes as the Paralympic Coach of the Year, while Sloman’s coach John Rodgers took home his fourth consecutive Open Water Coach of the Year award.
William Yang and Sam Short were also named joint winners of the AIS Discovery of the Year following their breakthrough campaigns at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.
Other winners on the night included Phil Jobling as the Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year, the Immanuel Piranhas Swim Club as Club of the Year and Emy Simsic from Geelong Swimming Club as Local Legend of the Year.
2022 Swimming Australia Awards winners
Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year
Nominees: Katja Dedekind and Paige Leonhardt
Open Water Program Swimmer of the Year
Nominees: Moesha Johnson, Bailey Armstrong and Chelsea Gubecka
AIS Discovery of the Year
Will Yang and Sam Short
Nominees: Alex Saffy and Lani Pallister
Olympic Program Coach of the Year
Paralympic Program Coach of the Year
Open Water Program Coach of the Year
Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year
Club of the Year
Immanuel Piranhas Swim Club Inc (IMSC)
Local Legend of the Year
Swimming Australia Hall of Fame inaugural inductees