On November 22, 2010, the biggest names in swimming will convene at the Marriott Marquis in New York City for the seventh annual Golden Goggle Awards. Last year, the gala was held in Los Angeles and this is the first time the event is being held in the heart of Times Square.
Hosted annually by the USA Swimming Foundation, the Golden Goggles celebrates swimming’s best performances, athletes, and coaches. All your favorite names will be attending, including Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, and Rebecca Soni. It is the Academy Awards of swimming – and big stories will develop.
Female Athlete of the Year: is Rebecca Soni, who dominated the breaststroke events at the Pan Pacific Championships, is expected to take home awards. Soni finds herself in similar footing with Lochte as the 2009 winner of Female Athlete of the Year. She looks to add another accolade to her already impressive list of awards this year (check back for a video interview we did this week with Rebecca at the Girl Up Rally in LA)
Male Athlete of the Year: Fan favorite and winner of six gold medals at this summer’s Pan Pacific Championships, Ryan Lochte is favored to win his second consecutive Male Athlete of the Year Award. Lochte has already won USA Swimming’s Athlete of the Year award as well as the ConocoPhilips Performance of the Year Award. Lochte could walk away with the highest honor the Golden Goggles awards in back-to-back years, solidifying him as the best swimmer in the United States since the Beijing Olympics.
In other categories, Amanda Beard (Irvine, Calif.), Tyler Clary (Riverside, Calif.), Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.), and Kate Zielger (Great Falls, Va.) are nominated in the Perseverance Award category, an honor which is given to the athlete who came back from adversity, retirement, illness, injury, etc. In addition, the ballot for Breakout Performer of the Year features 2010 standouts Teresa Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.), Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H.), Missy Franklin (Centennial, Colo.) and David Plummer (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
The Golden Goggle Awards serve as a fundraiser for the USA Swimming Foundation, which strives to make communities better through the sport of swimming. Among its initiatives is the Make a Splash initiative, a national, child-focused water safety campaign that strives to provide swim lessons for children who otherwise could not afford them.
This year’s event will be hosted by “Today” co-host and NBC National TV Correspondent Natalie Morales and will mix swim stars with entertainment industry celebrities.
Vote now for the 2010 Golden Goggle Awards. On-line voting will continue through November 19.