Surprise, surprise! Michael Phelps was named USA Swimming's athlete of the year today. Phelps' mother, Debbie, was on hand at the group's convention to accept the award on behalf of a son who won eight Olympic gold medals in Beijing. Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, had already lifted the coach of the year award from the American Swimming Coaches Association this month.
USA Swimming gave its Diversity Inclusion Award to Cullen Jones, who claimed gold alongside Phelps in the 4x100m freestyle in Beijing and has done much to spread the word of water to minority communities who have not traditionally flocked to the pool.
Earlier in the day, USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus gave his annual state of the sport speech, reflecting on the success of the American team in Beijing and setting his goals for the next four years.
Among them: expanding membership by at least 20 per cent, attracting new corporate and organisational partners, increasing USA Swimming's revenues and net worth, and improving on the number of gold medals at the 2012 London Games.
The full report and details of the awards can be read at www.usaswimming.org.