SwimSwam’s Official 2023 Swammy Awards Index

In a year that felt the most “normal” since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of scheduling, it was anything but in the performances we saw in the pool.

The swimming calendar returned to its regular rhythm with the World Aquatics Championships being the lone major international meet of the summer—relative to 2022 having LC Worlds, the Commonwealth Games and Euros all jammed together, followed by SC Worlds later—but with a bit less competition there were better performances.

We saw the world record fall in an incredible 12 individual long course events to go along with three relays, and over the weekend we saw the first (and likely only) SCM world record of the year fall at the hands of Daniel Wiffen at the European Short Course Championships.

In 2023, we saw Leon Marchand break Michael Phelps‘ last remaining individual world record in the men’s 400 IM, Mollie O’Callaghan take down Federica Pellegrini‘s super-suited mark in the women’s 200 free, unprecedented World Championship dominance from Kaylee McKeown and Qin Haiyang, and lots more.

Now that the end of the year is on the horizon, it’s time for our annual Swammy Awards to be handed out. We’ll keep track of all of our winners below.

See the full 2022 Swammy Awards winners list here.

2023 SWAMMY AWARD INDEX

CATEGORY AWARD WINNER
International Swimmers of the Year Male Swimmer of the Year Qin Haiyang
Female Swimmer of the Year Kaylee McKeown
Breakout Female Swimmer of the Year Erika Fairweather
Breakout Male Swimmer of the Year Sam Short
Comeback Swimmer of the Year Cam McEvoy
African Male Swimmer of the Year Ahmed Hafnaoui
African Female Swimmer of the Year Tatjana Schoenmaker
Asian Male Swimmer of the Year Qin Haiyang
Asian Female Swimmer of the Year Zhang Yufei
Canadian Male Swimmer of the Year Josh Liendo
Canadian Female Swimmer of the Year Summer McIntosh
Dylan Carter
Kristen Romano
European Male Swimmer of the Year Leon Marchand
European Female Swimmer of the Year Ruta Meilutyte
Oceanian Male Swimmer of the Year Sam Short
Oceanian Female Swimmer of the Year Kaylee McKeown
Guilherme Costa
Macarena Ceballos
U.S. Male Swimmer of the Year Bobby Finke
U.S. Female Swimmer of the Year Kate Douglass
World Junior Male Swimmer of the Year Ilya Kharun
Summer McIntosh
Open Water Male Swimmer of the Year Florian Wellbrock
Leonie Beck
International Coaches of Year Africa Rocco Meiring
Asia Cui Dengrong
Britain Ryan Livingstone
Canada Carl Simonson
Europe Antonio Lutula
Oceania Dean Boxall
US Bob Bowman
U.S. Awards High School Team of the Year Carmel (IN) girls & Keller (TX) boys
Vanessa Delev & Ayden Tan
Age Group Swimmers of the Year 11-12 Mikayla Tan & Alexander Thomas
Age Group Swimmers of the Year 13-14 Charlotte Crush & Luka Mijatovic
Age Group Swimmers of the Year 15-16 Alex Shackell & Thomas Heilman
Age Group Swimmers of the Year 17-18 Katie Grimes & Maximus Williamson
U.S. Club Coach of the Year Chris Plumb
Other Awards Top 10 Swims of the Year
Heart of a Champion Hayden Rose, VMI

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Swimswam follower
5 months ago

Marcand is also top 5 this year in 200 breast as well as 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM and probably top 50 in 200 free
I think his 200 free split on relay was 144.
Let’s see the two race in a neutral race , 100 free for all the marbles

Sous Vide Swimmer
Reply to  Swimswam follower
4 months ago

“Let’s see the two race in a neutral race , 100 free for all the marbles”

That’s not how it works

Last edited 4 months ago by Sous Vide Swimmer
Lindzy B
5 months ago

Dean Boxall b best overall coach of the year hands down!

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  Lindzy B
4 months ago

Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!

Swimguy
5 months ago

It’s not gonna be a surprise when Luka Mijatovic gets chosen for 13-14 boys… especially considering his performance at sectionals

Jimmyswim
5 months ago

So the awards were started 4 days and immediately two were done, and nothing since then? That’s a bit weird

DC Swim Fan
Reply to  Jimmyswim
5 months ago

Mate hasn’t heard of a weekend

Sous Vide Swimmer
Reply to  DC Swim Fan
4 months ago

Nevermind.

This is an old post

Last edited 4 months ago by Sous Vide Swimmer
Splash
5 months ago

Michelle Coleman would be a nice comeback swimmer of the year. Wins her first individual gold and makes first 2 LC World Champ finals after having taking 8 months off

Just Keep Swimming
5 months ago

My predictions

Male Swimmer of the Year Qin Haiyang
Female Swimmer of the Year Kaylee McKeown
Breakout Female Swimmer of the Year Olivia Wunsch
Breakout Male Swimmer of the Year Qin Haiyang
Comeback Swimmer of the Year Cam McEvoy
African Male Swimmer of the Year Ahmed Hafnaoui
African Female Swimmer of the Year Tatjana Schoenmaker
Asian Male Swimmer of the Year Qin Haiyang
Asian Female Swimmer of the Year Zhang Yufei
Canadian Male Swimmer of the Year Josh Liendo
Canadian Female Swimmer of the Year Summer McIntosh
Central American/Caribbean Male Swimmer of the Year Jordan Crooks
Central American/Caribbean Female… Read more »

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Just Keep Swimming
5 months ago

south america – costa came 4th in the 400. open water is a separate award, so the best women’s pick is beatriz dizotti – qualified for the 1500 final with a brazilian record.

junior – heilman because he came 4th at worlds, while williamson is older and didn’t make the team

european woman is probably sjostrom because she has a third event and was better at the world cup

breakout will probably be jack alexy and lauren cox since they were picked for the award for worlds, but the award is so poorly defined that it could be anyone.

feel like asian woman will be haughey (like in 2021) but I wouldn’t agree with it

all the other picks seem… Read more »

snailSpace
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
5 months ago

I disagree on Qin Haiyang being a clear choice for male swimmer of the year. His World’s performance wasn’t any better than Marchand’s: one WR each, one historically fast time in an other event (100 breast and 200 IM) and one really fast time in a third (50 breast vs 200 fly). 50 breast is not an Olympic event, but the 200 fly is. What Haiyang has going for him further is his relay performances, but for one this is an individual award, and furthermore, Marchand isn’t a 100 swimmer/sprinter or a freestyler. And the historic breaststroke triple of course, but preferring that over the last iconic Phelps WR being broken is just a matter of taste.
Haiyang was… Read more »

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  snailSpace
5 months ago

marchand’s only claim to the award is through his performances at worlds, but swimswam voted qin as the top performer there: https://swimswam.com/swimswams-awards-for-the-2023-world-championships-mens-edition/

swimmer of the year considers performances across the whole year, which only widens the margin in qin’s favour. marchand didn’t do anything at the pro swim series that was anything close to what qin did at the world cup

Nick the biased Aussie
Reply to  snailSpace
5 months ago

Qin has the breaststroke triple, hard for anyone to beat that.

Troyy
Reply to  Nick the biased Aussie
5 months ago

And impressed throughout the rest of the season while Marchand spent the rest of the season in the bathtub.

swamppeople
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Australians continuing to demonstrate the inability to process that more than just one thing can be impressive.

Must be blissful to live in such a simple world.

Sub13
Reply to  swamppeople
5 months ago

I’m not one of the people that uses bathtub as an insult, but this suggestion by Americans that SCY is important and everyone else in the world is just stupid because they don’t care about it is pretty ridiculous

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  snailSpace
4 months ago

No one said Qin was a clear or bullet proof choice

Joshua Liendo-Edwards-Smith
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
5 months ago

I had no idea Haughey was Asian Swimmer of the Year 2021. When Zhang Yufei won individual gold, relay gold and individual silver, with a relay WR and an individual textile record? That’s insane. Like Haughey was great in Tokyo but she wasn’t even kind of close to Zhang

Lindzy B
Reply to  Just Keep Swimming
5 months ago

*Male swimmer of the year – Leon

Fraser Thorpe
Reply to  Just Keep Swimming
4 months ago

This aged very well

Sub13
5 months ago

There’s no overall coach of the year award? I want to see the chaos when it’s Boxall haha

mds
5 months ago

Marchand was great at the 2023 LCM World Championships but he had a better meet at the 2023 NCAAs.

Swim Statistician
Reply to  mds
5 months ago

I beg to differ. 1:54.8 and 4:02.5 are absolutely ridiculous swims at worlds.

His margin of victory at NCAAs did make him look like a god, however, he is not competing against the best in the world there.

Also, race analysis shows that Marchand only improved his underwater swimming last year, not his over water swimming. Therefore, his SCY drops will inevitably be larger than his LCM drops.

To say he was better at NCAAs is a stretch due to these two factors, especially given the magnitude of breaking 4:03.

Nick the biased Aussie
Reply to  mds
5 months ago

Hard to compare a local competition to worlds.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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