Bobsled Olympic Champs win Team of the Year award

Jan. 25, 2011, 10:41 a.m. (ET)

Olympic Winners: Lindsey Vonn, Evan Lysacek, USA I Four-Man Bobsled Team

Paralympic Winners: Alana Nichols, Taylor Chace, U.S. Sled Hockey Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) today announced its annual award recipients for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and teams of the year.  Each of the 2010 honorees were part of Team USA’s historic performance at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and all are reigning Olympic or Paaralympic champions. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) has been named the USOC SportsWoman of the Year; figure skater Evan Lysacek (Naperville, Ill.) was selected SportsMan of the Year; the USA I four-man bobsled team was honored as Team of the Year; mono-skier Alana Nichols (Farmington, N.M.) was named Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year; sled hockey player Taylor Chace (Hampton Falls, N.H.) was named Paralympic SportsMan of the Year; and the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team has been awarded the Paralympic Team of the Year honor.

“All of these athletes represent the best in Olympic and Paralympic sport for Team USA,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Their excellence on the field of play is matched by their positive influence in their communities and across our country. Their personal achievements last year and throughout their careers are remarkable, and I am thankful that we have such outstanding ambassadors of excellence.”

Lindsey Vonn, 2010 SportsWoman of the Year

With another dominating year on the slopes, Vonn won her second consecutive SportsWoman of the Year award. 2010 included a pair of Olympic medals as she won gold in the downhill and bronze in the super G at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. She became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the women’s downhill. Vonn also produced a record-breaking season with 11 World Cup wins en route to capturing four World Cup titles. She claimed her third consecutive World Cup overall title, third consecutive World Cup downhill title, second consecutive World Cup super G title and won the World Cup super combined title. Her performances earned also earned her ESPY awards for both “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete.”

"The 2010 Olympic season was incredible, but what made it so special is that I was able to share it with so many American fans,” Vonn said. “It was amazing to see the support and excitement they showed for ski racing and that's definitely carried into this winter. It means so much to the athletes to hear from them. Win or crash, they keep us excited to compete.”

Evan Lysacek, 2010 SportsMan of the Year

Lysaeck won gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, becoming the first American men’s figure skating champion since Brian Boitano in 1988. He defeated reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia to end Russia’s dominance of the top of the podium. Lysacek also won silver at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. He went on to compete in ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” finishing runner-up with partner Anna Trebunskaya, and he was nominated for an ESPY award in the category of “Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete.” Active with several charitable causes, Lysacek becomes the second figure skater to win the SportsMan award, joining Scott Hamilton (1981).

“I was truly honored to represent the United States in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” Lysacek said. “Thank you to the USOC for all of their support throughout my career. I am extremely proud to receive this prestigious award and humbled to see my name next to the incredible list of past recipients.”

USA 1 Four-Man Bobsled Team, 2010 Team of the Year

2010 marked a second year of wins for the USA I four-man bobsled team and a second consecutive Team of the Year award. Nicknamed the “Night Train,” the team won gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver to break a 62-year medal drought. Pilot Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), along with Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Mesler (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.), notched the first Olympic bobsled win for a U.S. sled since 1948. The team also claimed the 2010 World Cup title after winning gold in Lake Placid, N.Y., gold in Cesana, Italy, silver in Altenberg, Germany, and silver in Koenigssee, Germany.

“It's such an honor to win Team of the Year, especially this year, an Olympic year when all the teams are at their absolute best, I'm sure it wasn't an easy choice,” Holcomb said. “Winning two years in a row is even more amazing. Not only did we have a great year from January to March, but changed the team and continued our winning.

“As U.S. Olympic athletes, we make sacrifices in so many aspects of our lives, and put everything we have into our sports hoping that in four years we might have a medal to show for it. So while winning an Olympic gold medal proves that we were the best, having the USOC recognize and acknowledge our hard work and accomplishments adds the final touch, the icing on the cake, to an incredible year.” 

Alana Nichols, 2010 Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year

Nichols was the most decorated member of Team USA at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games as she captured four medals in Vancouver in the alpine skiing sitting division. She took home two gold – downhill and giant slalom – silver in the super G and bronze on the super combined. She became the first U.S. female Paralympian to win gold medals at both the summer and winter Paralympic Games, having won gold with the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Nichols also dominated the 2010 World Cup schedule by winning both the downhill and super G titles.

“Receiving the 2010 Paralympic Sports Woman of the Year award is such an honor, and having been selected from a pool of the country’s most elite Paralympic athletes is just so humbling,” Nichols said. “I’m truly honored. This is the cherry on top of an absolutely unbelievable year for me."

Taylor Chace, 2010 Paralympic SportsMan of the Year

As a member of the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, Chace helped the squad to the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. He was part of a solid defense that did not allow a single goal in five games in Vancouver. He was named the top defenseman of the Games, and he tied for second among all defensemen with five points (3-2) and tied for first with a +8 rating in the five games. Chace was selected as captain of the 2010-11 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor,” Chace said. “While winning the gold medal in Vancouver was the ultimate prize, this award is due in large part to my teammates, the sacrifices made by my family and my passion for hockey that keeps me going on the ice every day.”

2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, 2010 Paralympic Team of the Year

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team has captured Paralympic Team of the Year honors. The 2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team earns the award on the heels of winning the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in March. Team USA dominated the competition by going undefeated and outscoring opponents 18-0 in five games, becoming the first country not to allow a goal at the Paralympic Winter Games. The U.S. also became the first country to claim a second sled hockey gold medal, also winning at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games. In Vancouver, Team USA was the youngest team in the sled hockey tournament by nearly seven years with average age of 23.8 years (Canada’s average: 30.7 years). Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) was named the top goaltender of the Games, and Chace was named the top defenseman. 

Joining Cash and Chace on the team were Mike Blabac (Buffalo, N.Y.), Jimmy Connelly (Galloway, N.J.), Brad Emmerson (Amherst, N.Y.), Joe Howard (Kingston, Mass.), Tim Jones (Mt. Ephraim, N.J.), Nikko Landeros (Berthoud, Colo.), Taylor Lipsett (Mesquite, Texas), Adam Page (Lancaster, N.Y.), Josh Pauls (South Plainfield, N.J.), Alexi Salamone (Grand Island, N.Y.), Greg Shaw (Park City, Utah), Bubba Torres (Riverside, N.J.) and Andy Yohe (Bettendorf, Iowa).

“By shutting out all of our opponents en route to the gold, our team achieved a record in Vancouver that can never be broken,” said head coach Ray Maluta. “The guys’ ability to work together resulted in gold hanging around their necks, and I couldn’t be happier for this group.” 

TELECONFERENCE

WHAT:              Teleconference with award winners

WHEN:             Tuesday, January 25, 2011

                        10 am MT / 12 noon ET

CALL-IN #:        1-800-351-4895  Inside the U.S.

                        1-334-323-7224  International

PASSCODE:     USOC

About the Awards

The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually to the top overall male and female athletes from within the USOC member organizations since 1974. In 1996, a team category was added to the USOC awards to recognize the outstanding achievements of team members who might not otherwise have been eligible for individual awards. The Paralympian of the Year award was introduced in 2004, and the category was expanded to the Paralympic SportsWoman, SportsMan and Team of the Year awards in 2009. Winners are selected from the female, male and team of the year nominations of the National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American, Parapan American Games sports, as well as select, designated entities within the U.S. Olympic Movement.

 

USOC SportsMan of the Year                           USOC SportsWoman of the Year

1974 Jim Bolding, Athletics                                1974 Shirley Babashoff, Swimming

1975 Clinton Jackson, Boxing                            1975 Kathy Heddy, Swimming

1976 John Naber, Swimming                              1976 Sheila Young, Speedskating

1977 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                         1977 Linda Fratianne, Figure Skating

1978 Bruce Davidson, Equestrian                       1978 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming

1979 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                         1979 Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead, Swimming

1980 Eric Heiden, Speedskating                         1980 Beth Heiden, Speedskating

1981 Scott Hamilton, Figure Skating                   1981 Sheila Young Ochowicz, Cycling/Speedskating

1982 Greg Louganis, Diving                               1982 Melanie Smith, Equestrian

1983 Rick McKinney, Archery                             1983 Tamara McKinney, Skiing

1984 Edwin Moses, Athletics                             1984 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming

1985 Willie Banks, Athletics                                1985 Mary Decker Slaney, Athletics

1986 Matt Biondi, Swimming                              1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Athletics

1987 Greg Louganis, Diving                               1987 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Athletics

1988 Matt Biondi, Swimming                              1988 Florence Griffith Joyner, Athletics

1989 Roger Kingdom, Athletics                          1989 Janet Evans, Swimming

1990 John Smith, Wrestling                                1990 Lynn Jennings, Athletics

1991 Carl Lewis, Athletics                                  1991 Kim Zmeskal, Gymnastics

1992 Pablo Morales, Swimming                         1992 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating

1993 Michael Johnson, Athletics                        1993 Gail Devers, Athletics

1994 Dan Jansen, Speedskating                        1994 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating

1995 Michael Johnson, Athletics                        1995 Picabo Street, Skiing

1996 Michael Johnson, Athletics                        1996 Amy Van Dyken, Swimming

1997 Pete Sampras, Tennis                                1997 Tara Lipinski, Figure Skating

1998 Jonny Moseley, Skiing                               1998 Picabo Street, Skiing

1999 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                          1999 Jenny Thompson, Swimming

2000 Rulon Gardner,Wrestling                            2000 Marion Jones, Athletics

2001 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                          2001 Jennifer Capriati, Tennis

2002 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                          2002 Sarah Hughes, Figure Skating

2003 Lance Armstrong, Cycling                          2003 Michelle Kwan, Figure Skating

2004 Michael Phelps, Swimming                        2004 Carly Patterson, Gymnastics

2005 Hunter Kemper, Triathlon                            2005 Katie Hoff, Swimming

2006 Joey Cheek, Speedskating                         2006 Hannah Teter, Snowboarding

2007 Tyson Gay, Athletics                                 2007 Katie Hoff, Swimming

2008 Michael Phelps, Swimming                        2008 Natalie Coughlin, Swimming & Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics

2009 Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined               2009 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

2010 Evan Lysacek, Figure Skating                    2010 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

 

USOC Team of the Year                                   

1996 Women's National/Olympic Basketball Team  

1997 Women’s National Soccer Team                

1998 Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team          

1999 Women’s National Soccer Team                

2000 Baseball Olympic Team

2001 U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team             

2002 Women’s Bobsled Team                           

2003 Women’s Gymnastics Team Allyson Felix, Athletics

2004 Olympic Softball Team

2005 Men’s Badminton Doubles Team of Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan

2006 Men’s Olympic Curling Team

2007 Women’s World Championships Gymnastics Team

2008 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team

2009 Steven Holcomb's Four-Man Bobsled Team

2010 USA I Four-Man Bobsled Team

 

Paralympian of the Year

2004 Erin Popovich, Swimming

2005 Laurie Stephens, Skiing

2006 Jessica Long, Swimming

2007 Jessica Galli, Athletics

2008 Erin Popovich, Swimming

 

Paralympic SportsMan of the Year                   Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year

2009 Steve Cash, Sled Hockey                          2009 Stephani Victor, Skiing

2010 Taylor Chace, Sled Hockey                        2010 Alana Nichols, Skiing

 

Paralympic Team of the Year

2009 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team

2010 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team

 

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.