Best of U.S. Awards Show host Willie Geist (L) and red carpet hosts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – NBC’s Willie Geist will serve as host for the United States Olympic Committee’s inaugural Best of U.S. Awards Show supported by USG, which will honor outstanding U.S. performances from the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and air April 7 on NBC Sports Network from 7-8 p.m. ET. In addition, figure skaters and commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will host red carpet coverage, as more than 200 members of Team USA arrive at the Warner Theatre for the live taping on April 2.
The winners of the Best of U.S. awards were determined via fan voting at Facebook.com/USOlympicTeam and Facebook.com/USParalympics. Winners in each of the 10 categories will be announced during the awards show, which will feature athlete and celebrity presenters. The full list of award nominees is included below.
Awards will be presented in the following categories: Best Male/Female Olympian, Best Male/Female Paralympian, Team of the Olympic/Paralympic Games, Moment of the Olympic/Paralympic Games, Fan of the Games and the USG Building Dreams Award, which honors an individual who has gone above and beyond in his/her support of Team USA athletes. The winners will be announced live to the audience during the event at the Warner Theatre, and then welcomed on stage to share a few remarks. All of the action, including highlights of the athletes’ red carpet arrivals, will be aired during the April 7 broadcast.
Geist is co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” 9 a.m. hour and the co-anchor of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He is also a contributor to NBC News programs and to the NBC Sports Group. In addition to his television duties, Geist hosts the video blog “Zeitgeist” on NBCNews.com. Geist’s Olympic experience includes anchoring NBC Sports Network’s coverage from London 2012 and reporting from Sochi 2014 as a member of NBC’s Olympic Sportsdesk and the onsite Today show team.
The duo of Weir and Lipinski earned rave reviews for their work during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and will bring their same enthusiasm and personality to the Best of U.S. broadcast.
Weir’s distinguished 16-year figure skating career includes two Olympic appearances, three national titles and a world championship bronze medal. He was twice honored by fans with the U.S Figure Skating/Skating Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for “Skater of the Year.”
U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame member Lipinski became the youngest individual gold medalist in the history of the Olympic Winter Games when she captured the gold medal in ladies figure skating at the Nagano Games in 1998 at the age of 15. Since then, Lipinski has worked with many of the world’s top media outlets.
A nominating committee, comprised of U.S. Olympic Committee, athlete and media representatives, selected the finalists for the individual athlete and team categories, as well as the Moment of the Games, based on nominations from each National Governing Body.
The Best of U.S. Award Show, taping April 2 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., will include media opportunities during the red carpet arrivals, during the live taping and after the awards are announced. Confirmed athlete attendees and presenters will be announced next week. To apply for event credentials, please click here.
2014 Best of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Nominees
Best Male Olympian
Joss Christensen, Freestyle Skiing
Sage Kotsenburg, Snowboarding
Ted Ligety, Alpine Skiing
David Wise, Freestyle Skiing
Best Female Olympian
Jamie Anderson, Snowboarding
Maddie Bowman, Freestyle Skiing
Erin Hamlin, Luge
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing
Best Team of the Olympic Games
Meryl Davis/Charlie White, Figure Skating
Men’s USA-1, Bobsled (Fogt/Holcomb/Langton/Tomasevicz)
Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams, Bobsled
Best Moment of the Olympic Games
T.J. Oshie’s hockey shootout performance against Russia
Men’s slopestyle skiing podium sweep (Christensen/Kenworthy/Goepper)
Noelle Pikus-Pace’s medal celebration
Men’s short track 5,000m relay team earning the silver medal (Alvarez/Celski/Creveling/Malone)
Bode Miller becoming the oldest alpine skiing medalist
Best Male Paralympian
Mark Bathum, Alpine Skiing
Declan Farmer, Sled Hockey
Andy Soule, Nordic Skiing
Evan Strong, Snowboarding
Best Female Paralympian
Stephanie Jallen, Alpine Skiing
Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing
Tatyana McFadden, Nordic Skiing
Laurie Stephens, Alpine Skiing
Best Team of the Paralympic Games
U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team (Greely/Joseph/Lino/McDonald/Palmer)
U.S. Nordic Mixed Relay Team (Adicoff/McFadden)
Best Moment of the Paralympic Games
Men’s sled hockey win again Russia
Oksana Masters’ silver medal win in the women’s 12K sitting cross-country event
U.S. men’s medal sweep in the first-ever Paralympic snowboarding event
Stephanie Jallen winning her first Paralympic medal in her first Paralympic race
Andy Soule’s perfect shooting record in biathlon