COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 10, 2015 – Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, was named the Female Olympic Athlete of the Year as part of the United States Olympic Committee’s announcement today of the six 2014-15 winners for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes and teams. Biles is just the fourth gymnast to earn the women’s award.
The six 2014-15 awards are being presented during a live taping of the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held tonight at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall in Philadelphia. The awards show – which features NBC’s Natalie Morales as host and retro pop/soul artist Andra Day as the musical guest – will be televised Dec. 27 on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 3-4 p.m. ET. For a complete list of this year’s recipients, go to teamusa.org.
Biles became the first woman to win 10 career World gold medals, as well as four gold medals at consecutive World Championships. She also clinched a historic third straight World all-around title at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain. Returning home with five medals, Biles now has 14 World medals, tied for third all time and the most ever earned by a U.S. gymnast, male or female. She also won her third consecutive U.S. all-around title, becoming the first woman to accomplish the three-peat since Kim Zmeskal 23 years ago. Biles began 2015 by winning the prestigious AT&T American Cup, and she won every all-around competition where she competed.
The other gymnasts who have received the USOC’s annual honor are: female athlete – Zmeskal in 1991, Carly Patterson in 2004; Nastia Liukin in 2008 (tie); and team — women’s World Championships Team, 2003 and 2007.
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where nearly 200,000 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.
In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, five USOC partners – Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USG – are associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards program.
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 2014-15 finalists, visit TeamUSA.org.
(Story and photo courtesy of usagym.org)