SCV Arts and Entertainment | SCV Swimmers Trade In Their Goggles for Glam At The Golden Goggles Awards
Goggles to Glam on the Red Carpet
Team USA traded in goggles for glam during the “Emmy-style” Golden Goggle Awards kicking off the holidays in celebration of a year of accomplishments for USA Swimming. Two of the world’s fastest swimmers hail from the hometown: Anthony Ervin and Abbey Weitzeil, joining teammates Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky and other world champions.
Anthony Ervin, Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, attended the annual Golden Goggles gala as did newcomer Abbey Weitzeil, a current world record holder and the first in history to break an American record as a USA Swimming Junior Nationals team member.
“I train about, it depends, three hours a day or sometimes five if I lift in the morning and that’s about it…six days a week,” says Weitzeil.
Abbey Weitzeil, a Saugus High School graduate, recently deferred her college entry in preparation for the 2016 Olympics. Now 19 years-old, Weitzeil has already garnered two world championships and is the breakout swimmer to watch during the upcoming Olympic trials.
Anthony Ervin, a graduate of Hart High, secured his place on the pages of history with a tie for the gold in the 2000 Olympics. At the age of 18, his finish with teammate Gary Hall, Jr. was a phenomenal feat down to the 100th-of-a-second. The following year, Ervin captured two world championships.
“Tying with Anthony in the 2000 Olympics in the 50Free gold was the highlight of my career and I just think the world of Anthony. To see that he has come full circle and is doing it again, so impressed,” says Gary Hall Jr. recalling the Olympic milestone during the red carpet arrivals.
Ervin retired from competition during 2001-2012. He then made one of the biggest comebacks in history becoming a world champion in two events (2012) and achieving the title of fastest US Men’s 50meter freestyler in 2013. Last year, Ervin took first place in the US Nationals and today is preparing for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. From age 18-34, Ervin continues to set a world-class swimming standard. His book, Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian is scheduled for release in April of next year.
“The book is part autobiography, part memoirs, part dream, part nightmare. I really just hope people derive some enjoyment and maybe learn a thing or two from it,” said Ervin.
No where outside of the pool will you find as many world champion swimmers converged in one locale. This year, the JW Marriott LA Live hotel facilitated USA Swimming’s Golden Goggle Awards. Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky took home honors as Male and Female Athletes of the Year, among various distinguished categories and nominees.
According to USA Swimming Foundation, the Golden Goggle Awards and silent auction raised over $81,000 to support the USA Swimming Foundation Make A Splash initiative and Team USA member programs. It is a mission to save lives and build champions – in the pool and in life. Water safety is promoted throughout the nation bringing awareness to the importance of swimming lessons as a life-saving necessity.
Ervin served as a USA Swimming Foundation ambassador in 2014. This year, Olympian Missy Franklin takes up the water safety banner.
Santa Clarita is privileged to have not one, but two swim champions representing USA around the world. From goggles to glam, Anthony, Abbey, and the USA Swimming champions are once again in the spotlight on the road to Rio.
“Feels good to be here celebrating all our great accomplishments. But more than anything, looking towards the Olympics next summer in Rio de Janeiro,” says Ervin.
Gloria Locke is co-producer of SCV-Arts & Entertainment which airs on SCVTV Ch 20.(c) SCVTV 2015