Michael Phelps was recognized as the Male Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Golden Goggles awards tonight in New York. This was the third consecutive award for Phelps, and his sixth overall. The Golden Goggles were first held in 2004, meaning that Phelps now has won this award six of the thirteen times it has been given.
While perhaps not quite as dominant as he was in his peak, such as the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, Phelps showed this year that he’s still the best male swimmer in the world, despite turning 31 years old this summer.
He didn’t put up any eye-popping times in season, and his freestyle looked a little rough at times, leading to lots of speculation as to whether or not he would find his way on the 4×100 and 4×200 free relays in Rio. Yet, Phelps came to Omaha ready to rock, and he rolled to victories in the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 100 fly.
Phelps kicked off his final (or, so he says) Olympic campaign by splitting 47.12 to help the USA take back gold in the 4×100. From there, he won gold in the 200 fly and anchored Team USA to gold in the 4×200 free relay in the same session. Phelps looked more tired that we’ve ever seen him at a big meet after that race, but two nights later, he won the 200 IM for an unprecedented fourth-straight time by a very convincing margin.
He failed to win gold in his last individual race, the 100 fly, but was still part of a legendary three-way tie for silver behind Joseph Schooling. Phelps finished his career by swimming the fly leg of the 4×100 medley relay, en route to a Team USA victory in Olympic Record time.