USA Swimming Unveils 2019 Golden Goggles Awards Nominees

USA Swimming has announced the nominees for the 2019 edition of its annual gala awards show, the Golden Goggles Awards. The event will take place on Sunday, November 24th at the JW Marriott at LA Live in Los Angeles, California.

One award won’t be left with much suspense – Caeleb Dressel, as the only individual male champion at the World Championships, is the only nominee for Male Athlete of the Year. He won 4 gold medals individually in Gwangju, broke 4 American Records, and took down Michael Phelps’ hallowed World Record in the 100 fly with a 49.50.

Other debates will rage on more fiercely. Do mixed relay World Records move the needle yet? Do Regan Smith‘s World Records outpace the sheer volume of Simone Manuel‘s medals? Which of Caeleb Dressel‘s 4 event wins was most impressive?

Fan voting will run through Friday, November 15th, with that vote counting as a certain percentage of the final vote, along with a panel of USA Swimming VIPs. Not sure who to vote for? The official SwimSwam votes will be published later today, so stay tuned for a cheat sheet.

Proceeds from the Golden Goggle Awards benefit the USA Swimming Foundation, whose mission is to save lives and build champions – in the pool and in life. In addition to its Make a Splash initiative, a national, child-focused water safety campaign that stresses the importance of learning to swim, the USA Swimming Foundation supports the U.S. National Team and its development efforts aimed at strengthening the future of USA Swimming’s programs and services.

2019 Golden Goggle Awards Nominees

Breakout Performer of the Year

Perseverance Award

Coach of the Year

Relay Performance of the Year

  • Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay (2019 FINA World Championships)

Female Race of the Year

  • Simone Manuel – 100m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Katie Ledecky – 800m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Olivia Smoliga – 50m Backstroke (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Regan Smith – 200m Backstroke semifinals (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Lilly King – 100m Breaststroke (2019 FINA World Championships)

Male Race of the Year 

  • Caeleb Dressel – 50m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Caeleb Dressel – 100m Freestyle (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Caeleb Dressel – 50m Butterfly (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Caeleb Dressel – 100m Butterfly semifinals (2019 FINA World Championships)
  • Jay Litherland – 400m IM (2019 FINA World Championships)

Female Athlete of the Year 

Male Athlete of the Year 

  • Caeleb Dressel

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1 year ago

Ledecky nominated for perserance award is kinda lame. Notice Caeleb Dressel didn’t say one word about his motocrycle accident while struggling at pan pacs yet still bounced back and won the 100 fly. Never makes excuses when he loses even when there is one.

Reply to  Markster
1 year ago

Yeah agreed Adrian literally overcame cancer.

Chalmers Fan
Reply to  Markster
1 year ago

Dressel didn’t say a word about his motorcycle accident? Dressel was quoted all over television and media with his Pan Pac motorcycle excuse and spoke at great length about it during the meet. He spoke directly to TV on-deck interviewer Ahmed Fareed about it on coverage of Pan Pacs during the meet, even assuring it received coverage here in Australia and elsewhere worldwide.

Reply to  Markster
1 year ago

Maybe cause the accident wasn’t bad

Reply to  Samesame
1 year ago

He was spotted walking with a boot on and was out of the water because of injury. I’d prefer to embrace Ledecky’s illness than go through whatever accident kept Dressel from getting wet.

Reply to  Markster
1 year ago

Truth be told, his IG revealed him to be bootless on a fishing boat with some buddies around the timeframe of the “motorcycle accident.”

Reply to  Markster
1 year ago

I watched all of the 2018 Pan Pacs TV coverage, and Dressel actually did a lengthy on-deck “motorcycle accident excuse” interview with NBC’s Ahmed Fareed during the meet, followed by numerous interviews about it for other media outlets. Confirmation of the Dressel-Fareed interview, as noted right here on SwimSwam…

Chlorinated One
1 year ago

How does Dave Durden not get even a nomination for Coach of the Year? NCAA championship and numerous swimmers on World, WUG, PanAm teams. I’m sure if there were a category of “Best Slip On Deck 2019”, he would be a shoe-in, but not even for Coach of the Year????

Reply to  Chlorinated One
1 year ago

I think the coaches are those whose athletes won an event at Worlds.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

What is the criteria for the Perseverance award? That, plus breakout performer, seem like they have to be fairly subjective.

1 year ago

Ashley deserves the perseverance award don’t @ me

Reply to  yooooo
1 year ago


1 year ago

Dressel has a fairly good chance of winning MAOTY

1 year ago

Who does everyone think the breakout performer will be ?

Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

I think Regan could sweep them all! But USA swimming likes to spread out the awatds

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Regan Smith without a doubt

Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
1 year ago

Oh come on

Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
1 year ago

Didn’t she win last year?

1 year ago

Smith, Twitchell, Parratto, Litherland, Smith.

1 year ago

If Nathan doesn’t get perseverance…

Reply to  Hugo
1 year ago


1 year ago

Perseverance Award nominees list not including Ryan Lochte. Why? Very old man won USA championships gold after three years away. Catgory favourite is Nathan Adrian. He won relay gold few month after cancer.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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