NEW YORK – The United States Olympic Endowment today presented three awards at its annual luncheon in New York. The 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and NBC broadcaster Bob Costas were honored in recognition of their commitment and contributions to the Olympic Movement.
Trailblazer of a new era in Olympic basketball, the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team was named the recipient of the George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award. The award is presented annually to honor outstanding members of the Olympic and Paralympic family who have displayed qualities of leadership, ethical conduct and dedicated responsibility during a longstanding commitment to sport.
The 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, nicknamed the “Dream Team,” was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players and is often described as the greatest sports team ever assembled. At the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992, the team defeated its opponents by an average of 43.8 points en route to an 8-0 record and the gold medal. Hall of Famer Chuck Daly served as head coach, assisted by P.J. Carlesimo, Mike Krzyzewski and Lenny Wilkens.
The team consisted of 11 future Basketball Hall of Fame players: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and John Stockton. As an acknowledgment to the previous amateur system, one collegiate player was also included on the team, with 1992 College Player of the Year and Duke University All-American Christian Laettner filling the final roster spot. The team continues to be known for its iconic and inspirational performance, with the athletes serving as role models for generations of players and fans.
The most decorated American figure skater in history, Michelle Kwan was recognized with the William E. Simon Award, given to an individual or group who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
Kwan’s skating brilliance and accomplishments have earned her a place among the all-time greats of the sport. From 1995 to 2005, Kwan dominated the sport like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five world titles, nine national titles and two Olympic medals. In the nearly 100-year history of U.S. Figure Skating, no American skater has won more world titles, national titles or Olympic medals. In 2003, Kwan earned her seventh U.S. Figure Skating Skater of the Year award, resulting in the organization renaming the award in her honor. In 2012, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame and was elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, the only member of the class of 2012.
Kwan has served as a senior advisor and the first American public diplomacy envoy at the U.S. Department of State, traveling the world to meet with youth to speak about leadership, and social and educational issues. In 2010, she was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and was elected to the board of directors of Special Olympics International.Often called “the voice of the Olympics,” NBC broadcaster Bob Costas was awarded the General Douglas MacArthur Award. The award is presented to an individual in recognition of his or her extensive and significant personal commitment to and support of the United States Olympic Committee.
Costas has won 28 Emmy awards – more than any sports broadcaster – and is the only person with Emmys in news, sports and entertainment. He has been the face and the voice of the Olympic Games in the United States; a steady and versatile presence on NBC’s coverage from Barcelona in 1992 to Rio in 2016.
Having been with NBC since 1980, Costas was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and was given the Walter Cronkite Award for distinction in journalism in 2012. Throughout his career, Costas has expanded the profile of Team USA across the nation and around the world, inspiring American audiences and giving athletes a voice beyond sport.
About the USOE
The USOE was established by the USOC in 1984 to administer and invest the corpus of endowed funds that resulted from the surplus of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984. A nonprofit organization, its objective is to support the USOC and its member organizations, with the overall aim of enhancing Olympic and Paralympic sports in the United States. A separate entity from the USOC, the USOE’s net assets have grown to approximately $275.1 million, while awarding grants to the USOC and its member organizations totaling $311 million over the last 32 years.