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Why You Won’t Want To Miss USATF’s Night Of Legends Broadcast

By Karen Price | Dec. 14, 2018, 4 p.m. (ET)

Noah Lyles is names Male Athlete of the Year at USATF's Night of Legends Gala on Dec. 1, 2018 in Columbus. 


Some of the greatest stars of American track and field gathered in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month for the USATF Night of Legends Gala, and now fans have a chance to share in the experience. 

NBCSN will broadcast the awards show, which was hosted by four-time Olympic champ Sanya Richards-Ross and broadcaster Todd Harris and featured appearances by Hollywood director Malcolm D. Lee and some of the biggest names in the sport, at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday.

From heart-felt speeches and thank yous from the recipients to a one-of-a-kind introduction by Colin Kaepernick to flowers and French bread, you won’t want to miss the broadcast.

Here are some of the other reasons to watch live or add the show to your recordings:

Where else will you get to see 24 members of arguably the best U.S. Olympic track and field team ever?
Throughout the year, USATF has been honoring the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968, and several members of the team — including Madeline Mims, Dr. John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Wyomia Tyus, Dick Fosbury, Jim Ryun, Ralph Boston and Larry Young — were on hand for the event. 

Among their notable achievements from Mexico City: Tyus became the first person to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter and set a world record in the process, Fosbury debuted the groundbreaking “Fosbury Flop” in the high jump, and Mims became the first black woman win the 800-meter, doing so in Olympic-record time. To this day she’s still the only U.S. woman to win gold in the event. Overall, the 1968 U.S. team set eight world records and 33 out of the 93 athletes are enshrined in the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.  

Several of them were award presenters, including Carlos and Smith presenting the Jesse Owens Award for male athlete of the year.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, you’ll get to see the next three inductees accept their rings.
This year’s class consists of former USATF board member, IAAF senior vice president and PA announcer Bob Hersh (contributor), two-time Olympic medalist and former U.S. record holder Kathy Hammond (veteran athlete) and Olympic long jump gold medalist and four-time world champion Dwight Phillips (modern athlete).

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Shelby Houlihan and Noah Lyles are honored for their outstanding seasons.
Shelby Houlihan is named Female Athlete of the Year at USATF's Night of Legends Gala on Dec. 1, 2018 in Columbus.


The big awards went to Shelby Houlihan and Noah Lyles.

Houlihan, 25, was honored as both the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award winner as the female athlete of the year and the winner of the Best Championship Track Performance Wing Award. The 2016 Olympian became just the second woman to win both the U.S. 1,500 and the 5,000 outdoor titles in the same year, which came after she also won the U.S. 1,500 and 3,000 indoor titles.

She also notched three Diamond League victories in the 5,000 and set a new personal and U.S. record at the third with a time of 14:34.45. Plus, she finished fourth in the 1,500 and fifth in the 3,000 at the indoor world championships.

Lyles, 21, had a banner year as well. The Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year winner became the youngest U.S. men’s 100-meter champion in 34 years when he won the race at the outdoor championships in 9.88 seconds back in June. It was not only a personal best but also the fastest time in the world of the season to go along with his world-leading time in the 200 meters. 

The former Youth Olympian also dominated the Diamond League circuit in the 200 meters. He went undefeated en route to defending his title and joined Usain Bolt as the only men in history to run four sub-19.70 times in the 200 meters in one year. His best time of 19.65 at the Diamond League event in Monaco tied for the eighth fastest time ever. Lyles also led Team Americas to the IAAF Continental Cup, winning the 100 meters and gold with the 4x100 relay team.

Caryl Smith Gilbert wins the Nike Coach of the Year Award. 

The USC women’s track and field team won the 2018 NCAA outdoor championship this year under Smith Gilbert’s leadership, and her men’s team finished second at the 2018 indoor championships. The fifth-year coach’s teams racked up a total of 23 All-America honors, 10 school records and six USC freshman records this season under her watch. 

Fan favorites, masters and youth awards honor outstanding performances as well.

In addition to Houlihan winning the Wing Award for best championship track performance, Deanna Price won the award for best championship track performance, and Boston Marathon winner Des Linden won the award for best road race performance. Charles Allie won the USATF Masters Athlete of the Year award and Taylor Ewert was honored with the USATF Youth Athlete of the Year.

Other stars showed up too.

Current stars like Olympic shot put champ Michelle Carter, 2017 world hurdles champ Kori Carter and 2012 Olympic high jump medalist Erik Kynard were among the other big names in attendance.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Shelby Houlihan