World Aquatics executive director Brent Nowicki delivered a powerful message to the U.S. National Team swimmers at the 2023 Golden Goggles Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. In his speech, he praised USA Swimming as one of the most successful swimming programs ever produced while acknowledging the immense responsibility that comes with it.
Nowicki reminded the swimmers that they are leaders who will help guide the sport and have a significant impact on the global swimming community. He urged them not to underestimate their influence, both through their actions and words, as they compete on an international stage.
With cryptic comments about the fragility of the world, Nowicki likely referenced Russia’s war in Ukraine and ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine. Last month, Russia was suspended from participating in Olympic events for four years after being accused of illegally annexing sports organizations from Ukraine. Additionally, World Aquatics moved its last stop of its 2023 Open Water World Cup Series out of Eilat, Israel, amid ongoing fighting in the region. The future of Eilat’s hosting of the 2024 Open Water World Cup Series remains uncertain.
In terms of awards, Ryan Murphy secured his second-ever Male Athlete of the Year while Katie Ledecky and Kate Douglass shared Co-Female Athletes of the Year honors at this year’s Golden Goggles Awards ceremony.