RIO DE JANEIRO – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the Rio 2016 Olympic Games finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of Games, which recognize the outstanding performances of Team USA athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through Friday, Sept. 9.
The Team USA Awards honor the athletes and teams of the Games in six categories:
- Female Athlete of the Olympic Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Male Athlete of the Olympic Games
- Team of the Olympic Games, presented by Dow
- Female Athlete of the Paralympic Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Male Athlete of the Paralympic Games, presented by The Hartford
- Team of the Paralympic Games, presented by Dow
A nominating committee selected the 2016 Olympic finalists for the individual athlete and team categories based on nominations from each National Governing Body.
The six award winners will be announced during the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games, to be held in late September in Washington, D.C. The awards show will be televised on NBCSN on Oct. 4 from 10-11 p.m. ET.
In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, five USOC sponsors – Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USG – are associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards program.
Olympic finalists for Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games
Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Simone Biles won the team gold medal, and individual golds in all-around, vault and floor exercise, while adding a bronze on balance beam. She became the first American gymnast to win four golds at a single Games and one of only four women to accomplish the feat in Olympic history.
Gwen Jorgensen, Triathlon
In her sixth year of competing in triathlon, Gwen Jorgensen gave the U.S. its first gold medal since the sport’s Olympic debut in 2000. Entering the final lap of the run neck-and-neck with the reigning Olympic champion, she surged ahead to finish the race with a 40-second margin of victory.
Katie Ledecky, Swimming
Katie Ledecky set two world records en route to winning four golds and one silver, becoming only the second swimmer to sweep the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle titles at a single Games. Her four gold medals in a single Games rank tied for second all-time among women.
Helen Maroulis, Wrestling
Helen Maroulis became the first U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal. The historic victory was secured by defeating the winningest wrestler of all time – three-time Olympic and 13-time world champion Saori Yoshida of Japan – by a score of 4-1.
Claressa Shields, Boxing
Claressa Shields defended her Olympic gold medal from 2012 to become the only American boxer – male or female – to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. All three of her Olympic bouts were won by unanimous decision, as her amateur boxing record now stands at 77-1.
Carmelo Anthony, Basketball
Captained the U.S. men’s basketball team to a perfect 8-0 record and the gold medal, becoming the only male basketball player in Olympic history to win three gold medals. He also became the all-time leading scorer in U.S. men’s Olympic history.
Matthew Centrowitz, Track and Field
Matthew Centrowitz won the gold medal in the 1,500-meter run, giving the U.S. its first victory in the event in more than 100 years (1908). He crossed the finish line in 3:50.00, including a final-lap time of 50 seconds to hold off 2012 gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria.
Connor Fields, Cycling – BMX
After having broken his wrist just four months ago, Connor Fields battled back to win the first-ever U.S. gold medal in BMX. He flew out of the gate and led the race from start to finish, crossing the finish line in 34.642, over a half a second ahead of the rest of the field.
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Michael Phelps further cemented his legacy as the greatest Olympian of all time with 23 gold medals and 28 overall. With five golds and one silver, the 2016 Games marked the fourth straight in which Phelps led all athletes across all nations and sports dating back to 2004.
Kyle Snyder, Wrestling
Kyle Snyder battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the 97 kg. semifinals to advance to the gold-medal match, where he secured the gold medal in his Olympic debut with a 2-1 victory. He is the youngest U.S. wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal.
The U.S. women’s basketball team won its sixth straight – and eighth overall – gold medal in Rio, extending its Olympic winning streak to 49 straight. Scoring more than 100 points in six of its eight games, the 2016 squad became the most prolific Olympic scoring team ever.
For the first time, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team defended its Olympic title in the team competition, scoring 184.897 points, which was more than eight points better than second-place Russia. The U.S. posted the highest score on each of the four apparatuses to secure the dominant victory.
Women’s Rowing Eight
The U.S. women’s eight extended its gold-medal reign to 11 straight Olympic and world championship titles, winning its third straight Olympic gold medal. The Americans covered the course in 6:01.49 for a winning margin of 2.49 seconds over the second-place finisher.
Women's Track 400-meter Relay
The U.S. women’s 400-meter relay team ran the second fastest time in history, finishing in 41.01 to defend its gold medal from London. The Americans turned an unprecedented opportunity into success, coming back from a disqualification in the heats to secure a place in the final with a re-run.
Women’s Water Polo
Led by tournament MVP Maggie Steffens, the U.S. women’s water polo team went undefeated (6-0) to become the first to successfully defend its Olympic title and the only team to medal at each of the five Olympic Games since the sport debuted in 2000.