NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky have both earned Athlete of the Year honors for the third consecutive year at the USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards.
Phelps won six medals this summer, including five gold, and took the male Athlete of the Year award for the seventh time overall.
Phelps also won Race of the Year on Monday for his 200-meter butterfly win at the Rio Olympics and Relay Performance of the Year for the 4×100 freestyle in Rio.
He was also the fifth recipient of USA Swimming’s IMPACT Award, a lifetime achievement honor for contributions to the sport.
Ledecky won female Athlete of the Year for a record fourth consecutive year. Ledecky won four golds at Rio, joining Debbie Meyer as the only women to win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events at the same Olympics.
Simone Manuel won female Race of the Year for her gold in the 100 freestyle in Rio, when she set an American and Olympic record at 52.70 seconds.
After two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting a standing back flip in April 2016, he decided to set a goal for himself. Nietro was determined to walk down the aisle at his own wedding.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Nieto walked to the altar in front of everyone gathered at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in east San Diego – something his doctors said might not be possible.
Nieto, with some assistance, entered the church where he then married his bride, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, exactly how he set out to – on his feet.
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.
Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.
“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.
Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.
Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.