U.S. Olympic Committee announces 2011-12 Athletes, Teams of Year

U.S. Olympic Committee announces 2011-12 athletes, teams of year
Olympic winners: Allyson Felix, Michael Phelps, U.S. Women’s Eight Rowing Team

Paralympic winners: Raymond Martin, Jessica Long, U.S. Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and teams of the year. Each of the 2011-12 honorees were part of Team USA’s outstanding performance at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, and all are reigning Olympic or Paralympic champions. Sprinter Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, Calif.) has been named the USOC SportsWoman of the Year; swimmer Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Md.) was selected SportsMan of the Year; the U.S. women’s eight rowing team was honored as Olympic Team of the Year; swimmer Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) was named Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year; wheelchair racer Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) was named Paralympic SportsMan of the Year; and the U.S. men’s quad doubles wheelchair tennis team was designated Paralympic Team of the Year.

“We are so proud to honor these young men and women who represent the finest ambassadors of sport, Team USA and the Olympic Movement,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Through their commitment to excellence on and off the field, these athletes represent our country with incredible grace and composure, and their outstanding achievements are an inspiration to all Americans.”

The six awards will be presented at a celebratory dinner during the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly held Sept. 20-21 at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Allyson Felix, Olympic SportsWoman of the Year
U.S. track & field standout Allyson Felix made history during her third Olympic appearance by collecting three gold medals and becoming the first woman to accomplish the feat since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988. Felix claimed her first gold of the London Games in the 200 meters and, two days later, ran the second leg of the world-record setting 4×100 relay team. She closed the Games with the gold medal in the 4×400 relay. A three-time Olympic medalist in the 200, Felix claimed top honors in her signature event at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking Griffith-Joyner’s 24-year-old record with a time of 21.69 seconds – the fourth-fastest by a woman in history. The three-time Jesse Owens Award winner became the first American woman to win national titles in all three sprint events at the 2011 U.S. Outdoor Championships. She completed her stellar 2011 campaign by winning four medals at the 2011 World Championships, tying Carl Lewis for 10 career medals in the event.


Michael Phelps, Olympic SportsMan of the Year
During the recently completed 2012 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history with 22 medals, including 18 golds. At the London Games, Phelps capped his illustrious career with four gold medals – including individual titles in the 200-meter individual medley and 100 butterfly and relay wins in the 4×200 freestyle and 4×100 medley. He also added silver medals in the 200 butterfly and the 4×100 freestyle relay. It was a fitting exclamation point to Phelps’ career that spanned four Olympic Games. Phelps concluded the 2012 Games as the most successful swimmer of the meet for a third consecutive time. In his final season, Phelps also earned the 2011-12 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series title and collected seven medals at the 2012 FINA World Championships.

 

U.S. Women’s Eight, Olympic Team of the Year
With a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, the women’s eight – Erin Cafaro (Modesto, Calif.), Caryn Davies (Ithaca, N.Y.), Susan Francia (Abington, Pa.), Caroline Lind (Greensboro, N.C.), Esther Lofgren (Newport Beach, Calif.), Eleanor Logan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine), Meghan Musnicki (Naples, N.Y.), Taylor Ritzel (Larkspur, Colo.) and Mary Whipple (Orangevale, Calif.) – continued its historic run that includes seven straight world championships and three consecutive Olympic medals. The U.S. defended the gold in London, finishing the course in 6:10.59, nearly two seconds ahead of the field. It was a fitting culmination to a year that saw the U.S. fortify its championship dynasty on the world stage. The team set the course record at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta to claim the Remenham Challenge Cup and won gold at the 2011 World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. At the 2012 World Cup, the team set a world record in its defeat over Canada. The women’s eight continued its winning tradition with a gold-medal finish at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Slovenia to qualify for London. All nine athletes in the boat are ranked among the top 16 most-medaled female athletes in U.S. history at the world championship and Olympic levels.

Jessica Long, Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year
U.S. Paralympic swimming standout Jessica Long collected eight medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games to tie for the most of any athlete and bring her total Paralympic medal count to 17 over three Games. The 20-year-old grabbed gold in five events in London, including the 100-meter butterfly (S8), 400 freestyle (S8), 100 breaststroke (SB7), 200 individual medley (SM8) and 100 freestyle (S8). She also claimed silver in the 100 backstroke (S8) and the 4×100 freestyle relay (34 points), and bronze in the 4×100 medley relay (34 points). Long also lowered her world-record times in the 100 and 400 freestyle and has won both events at three consecutive Paralympic Games. She punched her ticket to London after winning seven events and breaking five world records at the 2012 U.S Paralympic Trails. She returned to the international stage with high hopes in London after capturing nine gold medals and four world records at the 2011 Pan-Pacific Paralympic Swimming Championships. Swimming World Magazine named Long Disabled Swimmer of the Year in 2011, and in 2012, she won her second ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.

Raymond Martin, Paralympic SportsMan of the Year
In his first Paralympic Games, 18-year-old Raymond Martin struck nothing but gold, winning every event he entered in London. Competing in the T52 class, Martin secured Team USA’s first track & field gold of the Games after winning the 100 meters. He then cruised to victory in the 400, before securing the top podium spot in the 800. The 200-meter world-record holder then completed his sweep of the sprint events, posting a time of 30.25 seconds in the 200, his premier event. Martin entered the Games with high expectations after taking top honors in the 200, 400 and 800 meters at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Trials, where he set a world record and an American record in the 200 and 800. Martin’s 2011-12 campaign was also highlighted by four medals – including two golds and two silvers – at the 2011 Parapan American Games, followed by a record-shattering performance at the Swiss Series, where he set national records in the 200 and 400.

 

U.S. Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team, Paralympic Team of the Year
The U.S. men’s quad doubles tennis team of Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) and David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) captured its third consecutive gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The winning duo, which has dominated the field since quad doubles was introduced at the 2004 Paralympic Games, outlasted favorites Andrew Lapthorne and Peter Norfolk of Great Britain, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to defend its title. Taylor and Wagner opened the 2011-12 campaign by aiding the U.S. to its seventh world team cup championship last May. Four months later, the duo combined to win its seventh grand slam doubles title at the 2011 U.S. Open. Prior to the Games, the pair finished third at the 2012 World Team Cup. In addition to winning doubles gold at the London Games, Taylor and Wagner each medaled in the individual competition, with Wagner claiming silver and bringing his total medal count to five, and Taylor earning bronze to improve his medal count to four overall.

 

ABOUT THE AWARDS

The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually to the top overall male and female athletes from USOC member organizations since 1974. In 1996, a team category was added to recognize the outstanding achievements of team members who might not otherwise have been eligible for individual awards. The Paralympian of the Year award was introduced in 2004, and the category was expanded to the Paralympic SportsWoman, SportsMan and Team of the Year awards in 2009. Winners are selected from the female, male and team of the year nominations of the National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games sports, as well as select, designated entities within the U.S. Olympic Movement.

 

USOC SportsMan of the Year                                    

1974 Jim Bolding, Track & Field                                  

1975 Clinton Jackson, Boxing                                      

1976 John Naber, Swimming                                      

1977 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                                

1978 Bruce Davidson, Equestrian                             

1979 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                                

1980 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                                

1981 Scott Hamilton, Figure Skating                        

1982 Greg Louganis, Diving                                         

1983 Rick McKinney, Archery                                     

1984 Edwin Moses, Track & Field                              

1985 Willie Banks, Track & Field                                 

1986 Matt Biondi, Swimming                                      

1987 Greg Louganis, Diving                                         

1988 Matt Biondi, Swimming                                      

1989 Roger Kingdom, Track & Field                          

1990 John Smith, Wrestling                         

1991 Carl Lewis, Track & Field                                     

1992 Pablo Morales, Swimming                                                

1993 Michael Johnson, Track & Field                       

1994 Dan Jansen, Speedskating                                

1995 Michael Johnson, Track & Field                       

1996 Michael Johnson, Track & Field                       

1997 Pete Sampras, Tennis                                         

1998 Jonny Moseley, Skiing                                        

1999 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                                  

2000 Rulon Gardner,Wrestling                                  

2001 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                                  

2002 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                                  

2003 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                                  

2004 Michael Phelps, Swimming                               

2005 Hunter Kemper, Triathlon                                 

2006 Joey Cheek, Speedskating                                

2007 Tyson Gay, Track & Field                                    

2008 Michael Phelps, Swimming                               

2009 Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined                   

2010 Evan Lysacek, Figure Skating                            

2011-12 Michael Phelps, Swimming                         ‘

 

USOC SportsWoman of the Year
1974 Shirley Babashoff, Swimming
1975 Kathy Heddy, Swimming
1976 Sheila Young, Speedskating
1977 Linda Fratianne, Figure Skating
1978 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming
1979 Cynthia “Sippy” Woodhead, Swimming
1980 Beth Heiden, Speedskating
1981 Sheila Young Ochowicz, Cycling/Speedskating
1982 Melanie Smith, Equestrian
1983 Tamara McKinney, Skiing
1984 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming
1985 Mary Decker Slaney, Track & Field
1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field
1987 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field
1988 Florence Griffith Joyner, Track & Field

1989 Janet Evans, Swimming

1990 Lynn Jennings, Track & Field

1991 Kim Zmeskal, Gymnastics

1992 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating

1993 Gail Devers, Track & Field

1994 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating

1995 Picabo Street, Skiing

1996 Amy Van Dyken, Swimming

1997 Tara Lipinski, Figure Skating

1998 Picabo Street, Skiing

1999 Jenny Thompson, Swimming

2000 Marion Jones, Track & Field

2001 Jennifer Capriati, Tennis

2002 Sarah Hughes, Figure Skating

2003 Michelle Kwan, Figure Skating

2004 Carly Patterson, Gymnastics

2005 Katie Hoff, Swimming

2006 Hannah Teter, Snowboarding

2007 Katie Hoff, Swimming

2008 Natalie Coughlin, Swimming and Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics

2009 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

2010 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

2011-12 Allyson Felix, Track & Field

USOC Olympic Team of the Year             

1996 Women’s National/Olympic Basketball Team  

1997 Women’s National Soccer Team    

1998 Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team            

1999 Women’s National Soccer Team    

2000 Baseball Olympic Team

2001 Postal Service Cycling Team             

2002 Women’s Bobsled Team   

2003 Women’s Gymnastics Team

2004 Olympic Softball Team

2005 Men’s Badminton Doubles Team of Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan

2006 Men’s Olympic Curling Team

2007 Women’s World Championships Gymnastics Team

2008 Men’s National Volleyball Team

2009 Steven Holcomb’s Four-Man Bobsled Team

2010 USA I Four-Man Bobsled Team
2011-12 Women’s Eight Rowing Team

 

USOC Paralympian of the Year

2004 Erin Popovich, Swimming

2005 Laurie Stephens, Skiing

2006 Jessica Long, Swimming

2007 Jessica Galli, Track & Field

2008 Erin Popovich, Swimming

 

USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year             

2009 Steve Cash, Sled Hockey                                   

2010 Taylor Chace, Sled Hockey                

2011-12 Raymond Martin, Track & Field                

 

USOC Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year
2009 Stephani Victor, Skiing
2010 Alana Nichols, Skiing
2011-12 Jessica Long, Swimming

 

USOC Paralympic Team of the Year

2009 National Sled Hockey Team

2010 Paralympic Sled Hockey Team

2011-12 Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team

 

For more information on the 2011-12 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athlete and team awards, visit TeamUSA.org and USParalympics.org.

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