The 2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year (Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria), 2009 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year (Poliana Okimoto of Brazil, shown on left) and 2009 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year (Andrew Smiley of the Cayman Islands) awards were sponsored by blueseventy and The Daily News of Open Water Swimming. These awards were based on a global public poll at thewaterisopen.com.

These annual awards are not necessarily for the best athletes, but are meant to honor the man and woman 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.

The 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, 2010 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year and 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year will be announced on January 1, 2011. This award will be based on an online global public poll.

While the nominees have enjoyed long remarkable careers in the sport of open water swimming as athletes, coaches, promoters, writers, directors and/or administrators, selections are based on their achievements during 2010.

The nominees for the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man, Woman and Performance of the Year are a truly heroic and amazing group. These select individuals, their exploits, histories and lifestyles are incredibly inspirational to read.