Olga Kozydub won the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year after training like few have in terms of distance and racing a total of 307 km (192 miles) throughout the year against the world’s fastest ultra-marathon swimmers.

Her spectacular sophomore year on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit was something to remember. Kozydub went from a young 19-year-old newcomer on the world’s longest professional marathon swimming circuit last year to the world champion this year.

Her transformation from a newbie to world champion was multi-faceted. Seen initially as a quiet and serious soul by her fellow competitors, she blossomed to a friendly colleague with wide smiles and a bubbly personality this year. She was gracious with the crowds at the 8 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix races in Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Macedonia and Italy, enjoying herself as she weaved her way through packs in the water and airports on land.

Supported by two Olympians as her coaches, Kozydub was focused on her goals in her 2.0 edition during 2013.

If she wanted to make a move, she did so forcefully. If she wanted to cut across the pack, she did it with speed. If she wanted a seat on the bus, she got it. She went for it on all levels and in all realms in 2013 and she achieved her goal as she completed race of 15 km, 57 km, 88 km, 15 km, 32 km, 34 km, 30 km and 36 km in distance in rivers, lakes and seas under all kinds of conditions.

The newly crowned FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix champion was young and hungry, small and daring. Consistently in the lead at all Grand Prix events she has visited, the 20-year-old won 3 races on the professional marathon swimming circuit while finishing 8 long races this year against the veteran pro swimmers. Very focused and strategic in her races and with her coaches, she did not let wind or waves, stings or sunburn get her down. When the pace picked up, she stayed up. When the waves came up, she rose to the occasion. The 20-year-old Russian looks like she has forged a promising long career ahead of her.

For her FINA Grand Prix victories, her focus, intensity, and love of competition, Olga Kozydub is a worthy recipient of the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Award.

Along with Kozydub, the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year nominees included:

1. Olga Kozydub (Russia)
2. Martina Grimaldi, (Italy)
3. Nuala Moore (Ireland)
4. Michelle Macy (U.S.A.)
5. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden)
6. Sarah Thomas (U.S.A.)
7. Diana Nyad (U.S.A.)
8. Charlotte Brynn (New Zealand)

9. Lynn Kubasek (U.S.A.)
10. Kimberley Chambers, (New Zealand)
11. Lorna Cochran (South Africa)
12. Sally Minty-Gravett (Jersey)
13. Poliana Okimoto,(Brazil)
14. Nadia Ben Bahtane (Morocco)
15. Shelley Taylor-Smith, (Australia)

The previous World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year recipients include:

* 2008: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Edith van Dijk (Netherlands) shown above
* 2009: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Poliana Okimoto (Brazil)
* 2010: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Anne Marie Ward (Ireland)
* 2011: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Pilar Geijo (Argentina)
* 2012: World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year – Annaleise Carr (Canada)

For the following WOWSA Awards, visit the following links:

* 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year (Pádraig Mallon)
* 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year (Olga Kozydub)
* 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year (Bering Strait Swim)
* 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year (International Ice Swimming Association)

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association