USA Wrestling Snyder named Male Ol...

Snyder named Male Olympic Athlete of the Year, Zadick is Olympic Coach of the Year in USOC’s Team USA Awards

By USA Wrestling and U.S. Olympic Committee | Nov. 29, 2017, 11:12 p.m. (ET)

Photos of Kyle Snyder and Bill Zadick at the USOC's Team USA Awards, where Snyder was named Olympic Athlete of the Year and Zadick was named Olympic Coach of the Year. Photo by Jonny Ruggiano.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the winners for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athlete, teams and coaches.

The Male Olympic Athlete of the Year is 2017 World champion freestyle wrestler Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC).

“This is great because Team USA is built from a ton of amazing and talented athletes. To be awarded this title is pretty special,” said Snyder.

Snyder becomes just the fourth wrestler to win a USOC Athlete of the Year award, joining Olympic and World champions John Smith in 1990, Rulon Gardner in 2000 and Jordan Burroughs in 2015.

Snyder won the 97 kg World gold medal in what was dubbed the “Match of the Century,” defeating Olympic champion and two-time World champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the finals. His win gave the USA the World Team title over Russia by one team point. It was the third straight World or Olympic gold medal for Snyder, who was a 2015 World champion and 2016 Olympic champion.

Also in 2017, Snyder won the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia, the first U.S. men’s winner in that prestigious event since 2009. He also won gold medals at the Pan American Championships and the Grand Prix of Spain. Domestically, Snyder won both the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. World Team Trials. As a junior at Ohio State, Snyder won his second NCAA Div. I title at heavyweight, as well.

“Everything went well for me this past year. Looking back, I was able to improve. I am a better wrestler today than I was one year ago, which is what I try to do. I faced some great competition this year. In the World finals, I faced someone that many people think is one of the greatest of all time, and I competed well. I was able to train hard both mentally and physically for the World Championships,” said Snyder.

The other Male finalists were Lowell Bailey of Biathlon, Caeleb Dressel of Swimming, Sam Kendricks of Track and Field and McRae Williams of Freestyle Skiing.

“We are really excited to see Kyle recognized by the U.S. Olympic family for his incredible contributions to USA Wrestling’s program and the U.S. Olympic movement. Congratulations to Kyle, his family, his coaches and his teammates on this achievement,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.

USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick, who led Team USA to the World Team Title in freestyle wrestling, was named National Olympic Coach of the Year.

The United States edged Russia by one point to win the 2017 Freestyle World Team Title, its first in 22 years going back to 1995, and only its third ever. The USA won six medals in the eight weight classes, including two gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. In addition, USA Wrestling won the Junior World Team men’s freestyle title in 2017 under Bill’s guidance, its first team title at this age level since 1984.

“It is an honor to be included in this group of excellent coaches, which is humbling. A good plan is contingent upon good people in the right places. We have a vision to be the best and believed we could be World Champion. It is a victory for everybody,” said Zadick.

Zadick became National Freestyle Coach in August 2016 and was in his first year leading the program after more than seven years as an Assistant National Freestyle Coach. As an athlete, he was a 2006 World champion in men’s freestyle wrestling. Zadick was an NCAA champion at the University of Iowa in 1996. Zadick wanted to thank his past coaches including Bruce Burnett and Dan Gable, his family and many others for their support.

“I want to thank (Executive Director) Rich Bender and (Associate Executive Director) Les Gutches for giving me this opportunity. I thank our coaching staff which includes Kevin Jackson and Joe Russell, as well as the entire USA Wrestling staff. Everyone works hard in their area to elevate the company and our program. I thank Cody Bickley and Jaimie McNab for their work. I have said this before that our athletes are great people, who happen to be great wrestlers also. Great athletes make their coaches look good,” said Zadick.

The other Olympic Coach of the Year finalists were Billy Walsh of USA Boxing and Matt Whitcomb of Nordic Skiing.

“We are extremely excited to see Bill Zadick recognized with such a prestigious honor. In the short time that Bill has been National Freestyle Coach, he has established himself as one of the very best coaches and leaders in Olympic sport. He is a great coach but even a better person,” said Bender.

Zadick is the first USA Wrestling coach to win the USOC Olympic Coach of the Year award, and only the second to win any USOC coaching award. In 2008, Dr. Dave Bennett, who was USA Wrestling’s Freestyle Development Coach, won the USOC Doc Counsilman Science Award, recognizing a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment in innovative ways.

2017 World champion Helen Maroulis was a finalist for the Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, an award which was won by swimming star Katie Ledecky.

Maroulis won the 2017 World title at 58 kg/128 lbs., dominating the field. It was her third straight World or Olympic gold medal, all in different weight classes. She was a 2015 World champion at 55 kg/121 lbs. and won the 2016 Olympic title at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. Also in 2017, Maroulis won a gold medal at the Poland Open, and was the U.S. World Team Trials champion.

The other women finalists were Heather Bergsma of Long Track Speedsking, Lindsey Jacobellis of Snowboarding and Mikaela Shiffrin of Alpine Skiing.

“We are proud that Helen Maroulis was selected as a finalist for this award. Helen Maroulis has established herself as a true warrior and ambassador for women’s wrestling and Olympic sport,” said Bender.

In the fan voting for the USOC Olympic Athlete of the Year Awards, which counted for 50% of the final tally, both Snyder and Maroulis won the voting in their category.

U.S. Olympic Committee announces winners for 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year

Awards ceremony to air at 5 p.m. ET Dec. 23 on NBC and feature singer, actor Mark McGrath as host

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the winners for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches in eight categories:
• Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods – Katie Ledecky, swimming
• Male Olympic Athlete of the Year – Kyle Snyder, wrestling
• Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow – U.S. Women’s National Team, ice hockey
• Olympic Coach of the Year – Bill Zadick, wrestling
• Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year – Tatyana McFadden, Para track and field
• Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year – Mikey Brannigan, Para track and field
• Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow – U.S. National Team, sled hockey
• Paralympic Coach of the Year – Eileen Carey, Para Nordic skiing

The eight awards were presented during a live recording of the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held tonight at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles. The awards show – which featured singer, actor Mark McGrath as host – will be televised from 5-6 p.m. ET Dec. 23 on NBC.

The year-end celebration also recognized Allyson Felix with the Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award – which recognizes an individual 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 USA Archery’s Easton Sports Development Foundation 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.

Additionally, high jumping sensation Chaunté Lowe was presented with her bronze medal from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 during a special ceremony. The four-time Olympian initially finished sixth in Beijing, but was recently upgraded to the bronze medal after the third-fifth-place finishers retested positive for banned substances and were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee.

The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at, where more than 260,800 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 as part of the USOC’s annual Coach of the Year Recognition Program, and the winners were determined by a USOC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals.

In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG are associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards, Best of the Year event.

Below are the other winners alongside Snyder and Zadick

Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Maryland), swimming
Ledecky won six medals – including five golds – at the 2017 FINA World Championships, claiming three-peats in three individual events and setting the women’s record for most career world championship gold medals with 14 overall.

Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
U.S. Women’s National Team, ice hockey
The U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team went undefeated in five games to claim its fourth consecutive IIHF Women’s World Championship title – and first on home ice – marking its second triumph over Canada on the season having also defeated its northern rival to win its second consecutive – and seventh overall – Four Nations Cup title.

Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year
Tatyana McFadden (Champaign, Illinois), Para track and field
McFadden became the most decorated wheelchair marathon champion in history in claiming her fourth consecutive grand slam title with wins in Chicago and New York, and swept gold medals in all four of her events – including the T54 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter – to tie for the most medals of any athlete at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.

Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year
Mikey Brannigan (East Northport, New York), Para track and field
Competing against able-bodied runners, Brannigan won the men’s 1,500-meter at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational and improved his own world record in the 5,000 with a time of 14:09.51 at the Mt. SAC Relays before capping the season with three world championships medals – including two golds – in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 to complete the year ranked No. 1 in the men’s T20 classification at all three distances.

Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
U.S. National Team, sled hockey
The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team claimed an unprecedented third straight World Sled Hockey Challenge title with a 5-2 victory over Canada and took silver at the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championship in Gangneung, South Korea, where it advanced to its fifth straight gold-medal game with a perfect 6-0 mark in preliminary play.

Paralympic Coach of the Year
Eileen Carey (Leeds, Maine), Para Nordic skiing
At the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, Carey coached Oksana Masters to four gold medals and one bronze, and helped Andy Soule capture silver and bronze medals. During the 2016-17 world cup season, she led the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Team to 33 world cup medals, a record for the program over the past six seasons. Additionally, Carey helped Team USA to 12 world cup medals in biathlon, marking four times as many as the previous year. Under her mentorship, Masters won the overall cross-country world cup title for the third time and finished third overall in biathlon. Caret also guided Dan Cnossen in winning win six medals in just eight starts in his return to the world cup circuit.

Building Dreams Award, presented by USG
Easton Sports Development Foundation (Van Nuys, California), USA Archery
The Easton Sports Development Foundation has been a major contributor to USA Archery’s high performance and grassroots efforts. After the construction of the Easton Archery Center of Excellence in 2015, the foundation was key in helping Team USA win two medals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In 2017, the foundation launched the Explore Archery grant program, providing nearly $1 million to support introductory archery programs across the country. In 2017, ESDF also took steps to return the Archery World Cup to the U.S. with plans to host stops in Salt Lake City in 2018 and 2019, giving American athletes the chance to compete on home soil while enhancing international exposure for the sport.

Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award
Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, California), track and field
Beyond her record-breaking accomplishments on the track, Allyson Felix has embodied the Olympic ideals and an altruistic spirit throughout her life. She has channeled her compassion into countless community outreach efforts that have focused largely on inspiring youth and sharing the power of sport to transform lives. Since 2011, Felix has been heavily involved with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador in on field trips to Lebanon, Uganda and Palestinian territories, and was recently elected to the organization’s board of directors. She’s also been heavily involved with the Special Olympics, USA Track & Field’s Win with Integrity and RunJumpThrow programs, President Barack Obama’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Active Schools program, the LA 2028 bid, and numerous other charities.

About the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year
Formerly known as the USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the Year awards, the honors 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. Athletes and teams considered for the Best of the Year were finalists for Best of the Month honors, dating back to the fall of the previous year and coinciding with the sport calendar. A USOC nominating committee then selected the top-five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round. For more information on the Team USA Awards, including the full list of 2016-17 finalists, visit