O’Callaghan, Crothers Earn Top Honors at 2022 Swimming Australia Awards

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

Olympic Program Swimmer of the Year
Mollie O’Callaghan
Nominees: Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Elijah Winnington

Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year
Rowan Crothers
Nominees: Katja Dedekind and Paige Leonhardt

Open Water Program Swimmer of the Year
Nick Sloman
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
Dean Boxall

Paralympic Program Coach of the Year
Kate Sparkes

Open Water Program Coach of the Year
John Rodgers

Roger Smith Technical Official of the Year
Phil Jobling

Club of the Year
Immanuel Piranhas Swim Club Inc (IMSC)

Local Legend of the Year
Emy Simsic

Swimming Australia Hall of Fame inaugural inductees
Fred Lane
Fanny Durack
Dawn Fraser
Shane Gould
Ian Thorpe

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Nono
3 months ago

Slightly off topic:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch1N6jarfvF/?igshid=NTU4MjY0Y2Y=

In the 3rd photo, they honoured recently retired dolphins. Is that Jack Mcloughlin in the far left?! He is retired already?

Jamesabc
Reply to  Nono
3 months ago

He announced quite early that he wasn’t competing this year but I haven’t heard anything about him retiring.

Verram
3 months ago

Looks like Kyle Chalmers didn’t show up in last nights event .. shame he didn’t make a cameo

Springfield's #1 Athlete
3 months ago

Well deserved, frankly I think they would’ve expected these results next year for MOC, doing it this year is pretty special.
Hopefully she gets the nod for Female Athlete of the Year.

Jamesabc
Reply to  Springfield's #1 Athlete
3 months ago

She could be in the conversation for female swimmer of the year if she does well at short course worlds. Two world records, #1 in the 100 free, #2 in the 200 free, triple world champion. Ledecky and McIntosh obviously in the conversation but if they don’t go to short course worlds (seems like neither are) that diminishes their claim a bit.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

Certainly, she is only qualified for the 100 back, right? Medal in that plus relays and she makes a strong claim. It has been a treat seeing the media this year scramble to catch up to her progress, even with such recent marvels like only finding she is a great backstroker by Duel in the Pool. The crown jewel of naivety this year does belong to this very site, not bad for a number 57 swimmer.

Troyy
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

I don’t think anything Mollie does at SC Worlds will make a difference because of only one individual gold at LC Worlds vs Ledecky’s three especially when LC Worlds/Olympics tend to be weighted most heavily in these awards.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Yeah Ledecky has the strongest claim, then it is probably between McIntosh/Huske/MOC. Ledecky just doesn’t have any competition in 1500/800, they are free gold medals for her and she got 400 with no Titmus. 4×200 relay was her proudest swim honestly. Summer also didn’t have strong competition, her 4:29’s are her truly impressive swims historically, of course age makes her efforts more impressive, she will farm more WJR’s next year. Huske had the single best time of the contenders with that 100 fly win, though that is a WR which is going down any minute, far weaker than any other Sjostrom WR. MOC benefits heavily from relays of course, but her solo results are really good, the one caveat is… Read more »

Jamesabc
Reply to  Springfield's #1 Athlete
3 months ago

This all makes sense to me except Huske.

MOC had better individual results at worlds (1G1S vs 1G1B and Huske was lucky to get the bronze because Jack got injured mid-meet), better relay results at worlds (2G2S +WR vs 2G2B) and then MOC went on to break another WR and rack up plenty of golds at Commies. Better individual results, better relay results and 2 world records makes it pretty clear that one of these is better than the other.

Also MOC has the second fastest 200 this year and 6th all time, not 3rd and 10th like you said.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

I said in regards to all times set, not per swimmer PB’s.
1.1:52.98 Federica Pellegrini 2009
2.1:53.09 Ariarne Titmus 2021
3.1:53.31 Titmus 2022
4.1:53.50 Titmus 2021
5.1:53.61 Allison Schmitt 2012
6.1:53.67 Pellegrini 2009
7.1:53.73 Katie Ledecky 2016
8.1:53.89 Titmus 2022
9.1:53.92 Siobhan Haughey 2021
10.1:54.01 Mollie O’Callaghan 2022

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

Well I was mentioning Huske to keep the site dwellers happy, for mine Titmus and Sjostrom had a better year.

flicker
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

would MOC even win swimswam’s Oceania swimmer of the year? because I can see there being arguments for it to go to Titmus

Sub13
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

I don’t think they were literally referring to SwimSwam giving her the award. Ledecky could disqualify every event and then shoot someone poolside and SwimSwam would still give her swimmer of the year.

Two world records and Gold and Silver in the two most competitive female events vs no records but three golds in two uncompetitive events and one event that had the WR holder not attend.

If they actually made a fair assessment of achievements during the year MOC would be up there. But you’re right, it’ll be based purely on LCM world champs (even though their description evey year explicitly says it takes everything into account).

Jamesabc
Reply to  Sub13
3 months ago

Correct. I would never expect SwimSwam to give the award to her.

If you take away the specific importance placed on World Champs as an event (especially due to the unusual circumstances involved this year), arguably the best swimmer this year was Titmus. Individual WR, relay WR, fastest relay split of all time, her times would have won 3 golds and a silver at worlds. That’s objectively a better overall performance than Ledecky.

Troyy
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

It is a better performance and if Titmus went to Worlds and won gold in the 200 and 400, silver in the 800 and gold in the 4×200 with WR she’d be objectively athlete of the year and you could easily claim SS is biased for not giving the award to her but under the current circumstances I don’t think it’s biased at all for Ledecky to receive the award and to be honest with you I would’ve preferred to see Titmus block Ledecky from racking up another 400 free world title but here we are and Titmus doesn’t have the accolades to win the award because she skipped worlds and nor does O’Callaghan have the accolades because objectively three… Read more »

Jamesabc
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Look, ultimately Swammy awards (or whatever they’re called) are meaningless anyway. I would personally consider multiple world records to be a better achievement than multiple titles at this year’s worlds, which everyone knows were slapped together last minute at a time that was extremely inconvenient for Commonwealth countries in particular.

No one in 5 years is going to remember who won the 400 free at 2022 worlds. Everyone is going to remember who broke the world record.

Robbos
Reply to  Troyy
3 months ago

Yes I agree, MOC would have to have won the 200 free at worlds to stand a chance.
Ledecky, 3 golds at worlds & 2 of them would’ve been WRs, except for her lofty standards is easily the swimmer of the year. I’d have Summer at no 2 too.
MOC has had a great breakout season.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Robbos
3 months ago

I’d say in the long run this year played out perfectly, she won all the races she deserved, and came close in the races that she still needs to learn to earn. SwimSwam/FINA better give her an award, Oceanic swimmer of the year should be a given.

commonwombat
Reply to  Springfield's #1 Athlete
3 months ago

Your choice of words “she won all the races she deserved, and came close in the races that she still needs to learn” sum it up perfectly. It was hoped that she would “step up” this year but the extent to which she has done so has, most certainly, exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Granted her events at Worlds were impacted by key absences but she still had to deliver the performances required to win ….. and this was the case for other “Swimmer of the Year” candidates.

She still is, most certainly, a “work in progress” and her inexperience told on a couple of occaisions but the credit side of her ledger comes out well ahead. International Women’s Swimmer… Read more »

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  commonwombat
3 months ago

MOC would be top 6 for sure. I would certainly give an honourable mention to Madi Wilson, without her she might’ve lost her nerve in the 100 at Worlds.
What a great presence she is in the team, Chalmers might’ve abandoned the Commonwealth Games without her reassurances. https://txtify.it/https://www.codesports.com.au/more-sports/through-good-times-and-bad-madi-wilson-is-the-glue-that-holds-the-dolphins-together/news-story/45a199493017604a740c4d22743cb91e

Jamesabc
Reply to  Springfield's #1 Athlete
3 months ago

This is a very good point. I was hoping for big things for her this year and she far exceeded them. Maybe I’m just getting greedy now wanting even more for her.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

I have some very greedy aspirations too. Best not to let on about them in a public forum, what people remember happens only every 4 years, and as we well know things only have to go a little wrong to ruin 4 years of good work.

Robbos
Reply to  Jamesabc
3 months ago

MOC is top 3 & easily in top 5 swimmer, only Ledecky ahead of here & on a par with Titmus & Summer McIntosh. Top 8 ever in both 100 & 200 free, this year.

Robbos
3 months ago

MOC has had a huge year and I hope many more to come. It’s been great to see her rise to the top this year.