WASHINGTON – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 2018 winners for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games, recognizing Team USA’s outstanding performances and awe-inspiring achievements from the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in the following eight categories:
- Female Olympic Athlete of the Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods – Chloe Kim, snowboarding
- Male Olympic Athlete of the Games – Shaun White, snowboarding
- Olympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow – U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
- Olympic Coach of the Games – Jason Cork, cross-country skiing
- Female Paralympic Athlete of the Games – Oksana Masters, Nordic skiing
- Male Paralympic Athlete of the Games – Dan Cnossen, Nordic skiing
- Paralympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow – U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
- Paralympic Coach of the Games – Gary Colliander, Nordic skiing
The awards were presented during a live recording of the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games ceremony, held tonight at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. The awards show – which featured NBC sportscaster Mike Tirico as host – will be televised as a 90-minute feature for the first time ever, and will run from 6-7:30 p.m. ET May 12 on NBCSN.
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where nearly 600,000 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. For coaching awards, National Governing Bodies selected their nominees and the winners were determined via selection committee.
The year-end celebration also recognized Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi with the third annual Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award – which recognizes an individual(s) who has served as a powerful force for good in society, inspiring others by contributing to a better world, uniting people or leading a cause – and Tom Kelly, vice president of communications at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, 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.
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.
Female Olympic Athlete of the Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Chloe Kim (Torrance, California), snowboarding
In her first Olympic Games, Kim nailed a 98.25-point victory lap run in halfpipe after posting a 93.75 on her first run to secure the gold medal. She is the youngest woman from any nation to win a gold medal in snowboarding.
Male Olympic Athlete of the Games
Shaun White (Carlsbad, California), snowboarding
With an impressive 97.75-point final run to claim gold, White became the first snowboarder to ever win three Olympic gold medals and is the first American man to win gold medals at three Olympic Winter Games. He now owns the second most gold medals among U.S. men in Olympic Winter Games history.
Olympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow
U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
For the first time since 1998, Team USA defeated rival Canada for the Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey. The U.S. women bested the four-time Olympic champions, 3-2, in a shootout after tying the game with 6:21 remaining in regulation.
Female Paralympic Athlete of the Games
Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Nordic skiing
After fracturing her right elbow three weeks prior to the Paralympic Winter Games, Masters overcame unsurmountable odds to win five medals (two golds, two silvers and one bronze) in biathlon and cross-country competition. She left PyeongChang as the most decorated athlete on the team and in the history of the Para Nordic skiing program.
Male Paralympic Athlete of the Games
Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas), Nordic skiing
In his second Paralympic Games, Cnossen medaled in each of the six cross-country and biathlon events he entered, winning one gold, four silvers and one bronze. He also made history as the first American man to win biathlon gold at the Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games.
Paralympic Team of the Games, presented by Dow
U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
Powered by the late shooting heroics of Declan Farmer, Team USA claimed an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games with a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over Canada.
Olympic Coach of the Games
Jason Cork, cross-country skiing
As a coach for the U.S. National Cross-Country Ski Team and the personal coach of two-time Olympian Jessie Diggins, Cork was instrumental in leading Team USA to its first-ever Olympic medal in women’s cross-country skiing and the first U.S. gold medal in the sport. In addition to the historic gold medal in team sprint, Cork also guided Diggins to three individual top-five finishes – the best-ever for an American woman in Olympic cross-country skiing (prior to the gold medal).
Paralympic Coach of the Games
Gary Colliander, Nordic skiing
With Colliander’s biathlon expertise, the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team concluded the PyeongChang Games in record-setting fashion with seven biathlon medals. Prior to the PyeongChang Games, the U.S. had only garnered one biathlon medal in Olympic or Paralympic Winter Games history. He also coached the team to nine medals in cross-country races, bringing its event total to 16 medals – including six golds.
Building Dreams Award, presented by USG
Tom Kelly, vice president of communications at U.S. Ski & Snowboard
In a career that has spanned 32 years and nine Olympic Winter Games, Kelly has dedicated his life’s work to telling the incredible stories of Team USA athletes and highlighting the historic milestones that have made U.S. Ski & Snowboard a perennial power on the world’s biggest stage. In a pioneering move that reimagined media coverage at the Olympic Games, Kelly was the mastermind behind the USOC’s Managing Victory tour, which is designed to help Olympic medalists capitalize on their success and promote their sport in the immediate aftermath of their podium performance. Now a cornerstone of both summer and winter versions of the Games, Team USA celebrated the sixth installment of the program at the PyeongChang Olympics, which also marked the final Games for Kelly in his current role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award
Kristi Yamaguchi, 1992 Olympic gold medalist (figure skating)
Yamaguchi embodies the word champion, both in her athletic achievements and dedication to giving back to the community. Since being crowned the women’s figure skating Olympic champion in 1992, she has continued to define excellence and inspire others through many philanthropic efforts. Yamaguchi’s personal motto inspired her to establish the Always Dream Foundation, which aims to support disadvantaged children in her native Bay Area. Later, she launched the Always Reading program, which focuses on the development of early childhood literacy skills by integrating e-tablets, digital and traditional books in the classroom. Yamaguchi also established the Always Dream Play Park, offering play equipment designed for children with disabilities, and the Always Striving scholarship, awarded annually to an individual or pairs figure skating team that reflects the dedication, potential and character of an Olympic hopeful.
About the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games
Formerly known as the USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the Year awards, the Team USA Awards 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. Beginning in 2014, the Team USA Awards began recognizing the incredible performances of Team USA athletes and teams during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information on the Team USA Awards, visit TeamUSA.org.