December 2, 2013, OTTAWA (ISN) – Swimming Canada handed out its annual awards recognizing the best in Canadian swimming throughout the past week.
A complete list of the award winners can be found below:
OMEGA Female Swimmer of the Year
Hilary Caldwell of Victoria received the award, which recognizes the best performance by a Canadian female swimmer at the premier international meet of the year. Caldwell was one of the fastest rising stars in Canadian swimming in 2013. Every time she got in the pool at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, she set a new Canadian record, capping her week with a bronze medal in the 200-metre backstroke.
OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year
Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane won the award, which recognizes the best performance by a Canadian male swimmer at the premier international meet of the year. Cochrane’s silver medal in the 1,500-m freestyle gave him six for his world championships career, the most all-time for a Canadian. Earlier in the championships he took bronze in the 800-m freestyle. He is only the second man in history to double-medal in those two events at three straight worlds, with Australian legend Grant Hackett making up the other half of that very short list.
Team Aquatic Supplies Female Para-Swimmer of the Year
Valerie Grand’Maison took this award, which recognizes the best performance by a Canadian female Para-swimmer at the premier international meet of the year. Her hometown of Montreal played host to the IPC World Championships and she was the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil. Grand’Maison won three gold medals (100-m butterfly, 100-m and 50-m freestyle) and one silver medal (200-m individual medley) in the S13 (visual impairment) category at the championships.
Team Aquatic Supplies Male Para-Swimmer of the Year
Benoit Huot of Montreal was the winner of this award, which recognizes the best performance by a Canadian male Para-swimmer at the premier international meet of the year. Huot delivered a gold medal in the 200-m individual medley at the IPC World Championships in Montreal. It was the 23rd world championships medal in the career of the decorated Paralympian, who competes in the S10 category.
Open Water Swimmer of the Year
Victoria’s Richard Weinberger won this award, which recognizes the highest ranked swim in an Olympic event by a Canadian male or female open water swimmer at the premier international meet of the year. Weinberger finished fifth in the 10-kilometre open water race, the event in which he won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London.
People’s Choice Race of the Year
Eric Hedlin of Victoria received the most fan votes for his surprise silver-medal performance in the five-km open water race at FINA World Championships in Barcelona. Hedlin was one of six nominees in the fan vote, which pitted the top races by Canadian para-swimmers and able-bodied swimmers against each other.
Each winner’s coach was also recognized. Randy Bennett took home the OMEGA Coach of the Year in both the Male Swimmer and Female Swimmer categories. Meanwhile, the Team Aquatic Supplies Coach of the Year (Male Para-Swimmer) went to Pierre Lamy, while Peter Carpenter won the Team Aquatic Supplies Coach of the Year (Female Para-Swimmer). Ron Jacks was named Open Water Coach of the Year.