Guam – Benjamin Schulte came within five votes of winning the World Open Water Swimming Association Man of the Year Award and came in second place. Shulte lost the online voting to Stephen Redmond, an Irishman who swam the world’s most difficult channels, and was among l5 nominees from all across the globe.
Here’s an excerpt from http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2013/01/2012-wowsa-man-of-year-stephen-redmond.html
“In the public online vote, young Benjamin Schulte of Guam was second. While Redmond often struggled in front of only a handful of observers and crew in rough oceans far away from the prying eyes of the general public, Schulte faced the absolute polar opposite at the London Olympics. The 16-year-old swimmer raced opponents who were men double his age, significantly stronger and much more experienced in front of 30,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience.
Schulte was a boy among men, a neophyte against veterans; he could have wilted in the Serpentine. But the teenager swam his heart out and showed extreme grace under tremendous pressure. Like Redmond, he proudly represented not only his small nation, but also every open water swimmer who has persevered under the less-than-favorable conditions. While he quickly fell off the pace and swam alone as people around the world watched, he gave it his all like Stephen Redmond, swimming faster than expected and demonstrating a passion for never giving anything less than 100%.”
Schulte was part of the 2012 London Olympics and the first person to represent Guam in the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim.