Phelps on Career Impact: “It’ll take years to fully process” (Video)

Reported by Braden Keith. 


  • November 21st, 2016
  • Awards presentation begins at 6:30 Eastern Time
  • New York City, New York
  • Live Stream here

Lovingly referred to as “swimmer prom,” the 2016 USA Swimming Golden Goggles Awards are scheduled for Monday, November 21st as the best in American swimming over the last year are honored.

The event always takes on a special meaning in an Olympic year, and this year was a particularly momentous one. Michael Phelps looked like Michael Phelps for the first time this decade; Katie Ledecky proclaimed herself the best female swimmer (of her generation? ever?); Simone Manuel broke barriers by becoming the first black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal; and Team USA rebounded from a lackluster 2015 to have a historically-good Olympic performance (thanks in large part to the three swimmers mentioned above). Remember also that 4 members of the Olympic team won’t be present as part of a suspension handed out as the result of an alcohol-fueled incident in the wee hours of the Rio morning the night after the swimming portion of the Games concluded. None of the 4 were nominated for an award individually, though one, Jimmy Feigen, participated in a nominated relay as a prelims-only swimmer.

Honors to be handed out on Monday, as voted upon in part by swimming fans around the world, include:

  • Breakout Performer of the Year
  • Perseverance Award
  • Coach of the Year
  • Relay Performance of the Year
  • Female Race of the Year
  • Male Race of the Year
  • Female Athlete of the Year
  • Male Athlete of the Year

In the event you’ve forgotten, here is the official SwimSwam ballot for the honors, which represent our votes but not necessarily our predictions.


Again, no surprise here.  Phelps made his last campaign a memorable one.  Despite some doubts among fans that being on the “wrong” side of 30 would hinder his efforts, Phelps won his three individual events at Olympic Trials.  Once in Rio, he helped Team USA win gold in the 4×100 free, then he won individual gold in the 200 fly and 200 IM, and two more relay golds in the 4×200 free and 4×100 medley relay.  Even the one event he didn’t win was quite memorable, as he was part of a historic three-way tie for silver in the 100 fly.  At the age of 31, Phelps won five gold and one silver in his last Olympic Games, padding a medal count that already seemed like it could never surpassed.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »