Juggling motherhood and a career has to be one of the hardest things in the world to do and I imagine it being that much harder to do so as a professional athlete. Because there's such a demand from both sides, these women have so much on their plate and it's their duty to balance, maintain, and protect all of it.Read More
The annual Golden Goggle Awards, which is basically the Grammy's of the swim world, concluded last night. This is an annual event recognizes the best athletes in American organized swimming and honors their individual accomplishments.
As true as it may be that I "missed out" on the to swim in the Olympics, there will always be a place in my heart for the sports I love, especially swimming.
In previous years since it's start in 2004, the Golden Goggles Awards tend to be a bit repetitive, especially in terms of notable athletes like Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, and Katie Hoff. This year, however, was particularly intriguingly peculiar. Simone Manuel broke historical barriers, becoming the first African-American woman to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic games. That was such a proud moment for me, personally. An equally impressive moment in Rio this summer was pairing 2 rookies (Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held) with 2 veterans (Nathan Adrian and Michael Phelps) for the men's 4x100 freestyle relay.
|photo cred.: Clive Rose/Getty|
Swimming fans all over the world cast their votes for the following categories:
- Breakout Performer of the Year - Lilly King
- Perseverance Award - Anthony Ervin
- Coach of the Year - Dave Durden
- Relay Performance of the Year - Men's 4x100 freestyle relay (Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps)
- Female Race of the Year - Simone Manuel
- Male Race of the Year - Michael Phelps
- Female Swimmer of the Year - Katie Ledecky (4th consecutive year)
- Male Athlete of the Year - Michael Phelps
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|image source. Simone Manuel. Photography by Tri Nguyen/The Stanford Daily|
|Image source. Lia Neal.|
Alongside the hooplah of NBA Draft/Trade season, I love to watch athletes from around the world compete in the Olympic Trials, specifically in swimming. Each year around this time, all the joy of competitive swimming comes back to me, as my heart races to see who will make the olympic teams. This year, the world had a chance to witness-not one, but TWO-phenomenal black swimmers and teammates at Standford University, Simone Manuel and 2nd time Olympian, Lia Neal, earn their spot on the USA Olympics 2016 swim team. As I watched them both make qualifying times in their respective races, I was ecstatic, especially because I just know in my heart that more of us are coming to make our marks in the world of swimming.
As I articulated in a previous post about Justin Lynch, I've been surrounded by black swimmers my entire life, so I never really understood the myth of "black people don't swim". However, in terms of a competition space as big as the Olympics, it is rare, so I get it. It's refreshing to see black athletes perform on a scale such as this. I was a little heartbroken that Cullen Jones didn't qualify this year, but I'm still very proud of every athlete who got out there and performed their hearts out; it's hard to not be inspired by all of it. People who have never played sports competitively fail to realize this, but it's a touch job to participate in sports on a serious level, especially on a global scale, so it's always really fun to watch and feel apart of.
Congratulations to Simone Manuel and Lia Neal, as they head the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Wishing them and the entire team safe travels and much success. Bring home the gold!
|image source. Margo Geer, Simone Manuel, Lia Neal, and Missy Franklin. Photography by Christophe Simon|