SwimMAC Elite swimmer and Bahamian native, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, has been awarded the 2015 Icon Award for Sports by her home country. Vanderpool-Wallace beat out fellow Bahamian athletes Tureano Johnson (boxing), Antoan Richardson (baseball), Kyle Chea (rowing) and Shaunae Miller (track and field) in earning the honor.
The Bahamian Icon Awards were founded in 2013 with a purpose of acknowledging the ‘exemplary achievements of men and women who have excelled in various industries, thus contributing to the overall development of the Bahamian community.’ To be eligible for the award, nominees must be a citizen of the Bahamas, as well as have made a specific contribution or achievement in the previous two calendar years.
The public actually puts forth the list of nominees, which this year totaled more than 500 individuals, and the Icon committee then researches and considers the list to determine the official nominees within each of the various 13 categories.
Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, now 25, competed for her country at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona in both the 50m and 100m freestyle events. In 2014, “AVW” claimed four golds at the Central American and Caribbean Games, giving the Bahamas 67% of their total medal haul from that meet. She ended 2014 ranked within the top 10 in the world in two events (50m free and 50m butterfly) and is within 2015’s top ten currently in those same events. Vanderpool-Wallace is one of a 5-member Bahamian roster set to compete at this week’s Pan American Games in Toronto.