COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies joined the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in presenting the U.S. Olympic Achievement Award today during the 2015 NACDA Convention in Orlando, Florida. The award recognizes colleges and universities with student-athletes and coaches who contributed to Team USA’s medal count during the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“There is perhaps nothing more important to the success of Team USA at the Olympic and Paralympic Games than American collegiate athletics,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “These awards highlight this critical partnership and the tremendous impact of a development pipeline that is unique to the United States. Beyond implications for Team USA, college athletics have had a profound influence on many of our country's business, philanthropic and elected leaders, and that is just one of the reasons that we need to work hard to preserve athletic programs on our college campuses.”
Four institutions – including seven athletes and one coach – were honored during the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup luncheon: Boston College, Harvard University, Northeastern University and the University of Minnesota. All honorees either have a current student-athlete who was part of a medal-winning performance, or a coach who was an official member of the U.S. Olympic Team delegation and led his or her athlete or team to a medal.
"Having a student-athlete or coach compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games is an impressive accomplishment for both the individual and the institution," said NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione. "We are excited to recognize these achievements once again at the NACDA Convention. This recognition reinforces the need for the USOC and Intercollegiate Athletics, through NACDA and the NCAA, to continue to work in unison to enhance opportunities for student-athletes to represent their country on a worldwide platform."
“Collegiate athletics are a wonderful and integral part of our culture,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey and also a member of the USOC Board of Directors. “Not only do colleges and universities provide a training ground for future Olympians in many sports, including ours, but they also provide a superb laboratory that helps shape the future leaders of our country not only in the field of athletics, but in all walks of life.”
The U.S. Olympic Achievement Award is presented every two years following the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Two versions of the award are given: a medal that will be presented to each institution’s athletics director and a presentation piece that may be showcased in the athletics department.
The 2014 U.S. Olympic Achievement Award recipients include:
Alex Carpenter, women’s ice hockey
Kendall Coyne, women’s ice hockey
Lyndsey Fry, women’s ice hockey
Michelle Picard, women’s ice hockey
Josephine Pucci, women’s ice hockey
Katey Stone, women’s ice hockey head coach
University of Minnesota
Amanda Kessel, women’s ice hockey
Lee Stecklein, women’s ice hockey