The WOWSA Awards are given not necessarily to the best athletes, but is meant to honor the individuals who (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.

Wherever these individuals ultimately finish in the WOWSA Awards, they are all wonderful role models of the sport, representing the epitome of everything that is cool, right and good about open water swimming.

The heroes and heroines of the open water swimming world are being acknowledged in the WOWSA voting like their predecessors. Each year the global open water swimming community votes special people for a number of awards.

The 2008 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was multiple-time world champion and Olympian Dr. Edith van Dyke of the Netherlands. The 2008 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year was American race director Randy Nutt of the USA.

The 2009 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was FINA World Cup champion and Olympian Poliana Okimoto of Brazil. The 2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year was multiple world champion and Olympian Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria. The 2009 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year was Special Olympics champion Andrew Smilley of the Cayman Islands.

The 2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was channel swimmer Anne Marie Ward of Ireland. The 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year was professional adventure swimmer Marcos Díaz of the Dominican Republic. The 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year was the men from Ventura Deep Six of the USA.

WOWSA 2011:

2011 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees
2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
2011 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees

WOWSA 2010:

2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees

WOWSA 2009:

2009 World Open Water Swimming Awards
2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
2009 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
2009 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees
2009 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
2009 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees

WOWSA 2008:

2008 World Open Water Swimming Awards
2008 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
2008 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nominees
2008 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
2008 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nominees