COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 2014-15 winners for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes and teams in six categories:
- Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods – Simone Biles, Gymnastics
- Male Olympic Athlete of the Year – Jordan Burroughs, Wrestling
- Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow – U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, Soccer
- Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods – Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
- Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year – Joe Berenyi, Cycling
- Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow – U.S. National Team, Sled Hockey
The six awards were presented during a live taping of the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held tonight at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall in Philadelphia. The awards show – which featured NBC’s Natalie Morales as host and retro pop/soul artist Andra Day as the musical guest – will be televised Dec. 27 on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 3-4 p.m. ET.
The year-end celebration also recognized Pennsylvania native Jerri Johnson as the recipient of the Building Dreams Award, presented by USG, which honors an individual, group or community that has gone above and beyond in its support of Team USA.
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where nearly 200,000 fan votes determined 50 percent of the final tally. Members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – accounted for the other 50 percent.
In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, five USOC partners – Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USG – are associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards program.
Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Simone Biles became the first woman to win 10 career world championship gold medals – and four golds at consecutive world championships – with a historic third straight world all-around title at the 2015 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Returning home with five medals, she improved her world championship medal haul to 14 overall, tied for third all time and the most ever earned by a U.S. gymnast, male or female. She also won her third consecutive U.S. all-around title, becoming the first woman to accomplish the three-peat in 23 years.
Male Olympic Athlete of the Year
Jordan Burroughs, Wrestling
Jordan Burroughs went undefeated to claim his third world championship title in the men’s freestyle 74 kg. division at the 2015 World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas, becoming the third-most winningest wrestler in U.S. history. He won all six matches en route to the world title – surrendering only five points to his 45 scored – to improve his overall record to 114-2 and claim his fourth world crown in five years. The reigning Olympic champion also added gold medals at both the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 World Cup.
Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, Soccer
The U.S. became the first nation to win three FIFA Women’s World Cup titles, setting the record for most goals scored in a World Cup Final in a 5-2 win over Japan and surpassing Germany as the top-scoring team in Women’s World Cup history with 112 goals. Team USA’s Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo were awarded the Golden Ball and Golden Glove as the best player and best goalkeeper of the tournament, with Lloyd setting World Cup Final records for the first hat trick and quickest goal (2:35).
Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
Tatyana McFadden remained undefeated in world marathon majors by capturing her third straight grand slam with wins at the London, Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons. Her victory in London marked her first IPC Marathon World Championships title and came less than a week after her victory in Boston. The 11-time Paralympic medalist set three world records in the women’s T54 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races, and also earned her fifth Paralympic Games berth with a victory at the Chicago Marathon.
Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year
Joe Berenyi, Cycling
Joe Berenyi won three medals – including two golds – at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, winning the men’s C3 3-kilometer individual pursuit and time trial race. He also added four medals – including three golds – at the 2015 Parapan American Games and won titles in the time trial and road race in the men’s C3 class at the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Road Cycling Nationals.
Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
U.S. National Team, Sled Hockey
The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team went undefeated during the 2014-15 season, highlighted by a 3-0 victory over rival Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York. The U.S. outscored its opponents by a combined 29-1 in the tournament and 59-6 on the year, earning eight shutouts in 13 games. The U.S. also won the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge for the second time in three years, defeating Russia, 2-1, in overtime.
Building Dreams Award, presented by USG
Jerri Johnson, USA Field Hockey
With tremendous heart, Jerri Johnson frequently hosts members of the U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team for months at a time at her home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. With limited resources to lodge athletes during training, USA Field Hockey relies on Johnson’s generosity, which has provided athletes more robust training and competition opportunities in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
About the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year
Formerly known as the USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the Year awards, the honors began in 1974. The impressive and diverse collection of past winners represent nearly 30 sports on the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic programs. Their collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout history. Athletes and teams considered for the Best of the Year were finalists for Best of the Month honors, dating back to the fall of the previous year and coinciding with the sport calendar. A USOC nominating committee then selected the top-five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round. For more information on the Team USA Awards, including the full list of 2014-15 finalists, visit TeamUSA.org.