2009

Help Select Academy’s Athletes of the Year for 2009

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Balloting continues to help select the United States Sports Academy’s 2009 Athletes of the Year. Have your say in who wins the worldwide ballot, presented by NBCSports.com and USATODAY.com.

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s year-long Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. The Academy’s Athlete of the Month is selected by an international voting committee comprised of members of the media, sports organizations and governing bodies.

There are 12 male and 12 female candidates for Athlete of the Year. The Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards will go to the athletes who receive the most votes. Votes can be submitted on the Academy’s website at http://ussa.edu/ballots/athlete-of-the-year. The athlete with the most votes regardless of gender will be the Overall Athlete of the Year.

Voting continues through 24 December. The winner will be announced on Christmas Day.

Last year’s winners were 2008 Olympic stars Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin.

Voters are asked to select their top three candidates for the award in descending order. First choice is worth five points, second place is three points and third place is one point.

The men’s ballot consists of, in alphabetical order: Craig Alexander, triathlon, Australia; Usain Bolt, track and field, Jamaica; Drew Brees, football, United States; Kobe Bryant, basketball, United States; Angel Cabrera, golf, Argentina; Roger Federer, tennis, Switzerland; Santonio Holmes, football, United States; LeBron James, basketball, United States; Jimmie Johnson, auto racing, United States; Manny Pacquiao, boxing, Philippines; Albert Pujols, baseball, Dominican Republic; and Tiger Woods, golf, United States.

The women’s ballot consists of: Yelena Isinbaeva, track and field, Russia; Carmelita Jeter, track and field, United States; Courtney Kupets, gymnastics, United States; Linet Masai, track and field, Kenya; Lorena Ochoa, golf, Mexico; Courtney Paris, basketball, United States; Sanya Richards, track and field, United States; Jiyai Shin, golf, South Korea; Diana Taurasi, basketball, United States; Lindsey Vonn, skiing, United States; Chrissie Wellington, triathlon, United Kingdom; and Serena Williams, tennis, United States.

Academy Honors Senior Games Track Legend With Distinguished Service Award

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United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich presents a Distinguished Service Award to Senior Games Track and Field standout “Phil” Raschker.

Philippa “Phil” Raschker, a resident of Marietta, Ga., who has set more than 200 world and U.S. records in her age group for senior track and field, was the winner of a 2009 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) from the United States Sports Academy.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich presented Raschker with her DSA in Atlanta on 5 December 2009.

Described by The New York Times as the greatest female track athlete of all time if her age is taken into consideration, the 62-year-old dominated at the 2009 National Senior Games, 1-15 August in San Francisco. While competing in the 60-64 age group, Raschker competed in 11 track and field events and won seven of them: 100, 200, 400 and the long jump, triple jump, high jump and the pole vault.

Two years ago, after turning 60, Raschker won 10 gold medals at the World Masters Championships in Italy, winning every event she entered. She has twice been nominated for the Sullivan Award, which is given to the nation’s top amateur athlete.

The DSA is given annually to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research or service. The DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport and each recipient also receives the coveted Order of the Eagle Exemplar for their achievements.

Each nominee must possess an extensive background in sports. This means that the individual must have had significant dealings in either instruction, research or service in sports for more than 10 years.

Family Makes Sizable Art Donation to Academy

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Aldo Luongo’s “Where the World Comes to Play” was part of a donation to the Academy from the Saunders Schultz family.

Mr. and Mrs. Saunders Schultz donated fifty (50) pieces of art to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) collection recently.

Mr. Saunders Schultz is a site-specific sculptor from St. Louis. The family’s donation to ASAMA is valued at more than $50,000, one of the bigger donations in the history of ASAMA. The donated pieces include works of three previous Sport Artists of the Year winners, as well from Hiro Yamagata, a famous Japanese silkscreen artist, whose works are also on display at the United States Sports Academy.

The Sport Artists of the Year represented in Schultz’s donation are painters Bart Forbes (1986), Stephen Holland (1993) and Aldo Luongo (1999). Among the more popular works donated were Luongo’s soccer painting “Where the World Comes to Play” for the 1996 Olympic Games and a Forbes print of the 1992 Olympics U.S. Dream Team, perhaps the greatest basketball team ever assembled.

College Football Game of the Year: To Be Determined

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The final weekend of the 2009 college football regular season produced great games, near titanic upsets, and a national championship matchup between two historic powers. What it didn’t generate was a consensus Game of the Week from the United States Sports Academy’s Game of the Year Committee.

Texas’ last-second, come-from-behind 13-12 victory over Nebraska, a win which vaulted the Longhorns into the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game, barely edged out No. 2 Alabama’s dominating 32-13 victory over Florida and Cincinnati’s dramatic 45-44 victory over Pittsburgh. The Alabama win landed the Crimson Tide in the BCS title game, and Cincinnati capped an unbeaten season and a second-straight Big East championship with the win.

College football fans can give us their thoughts on the Game of the Week as well as thoughts on the season at games@ussa.edu.

Just as the games don’t end until 7 January, when Alabama and Texas meet to decide the BCS championship, the Academy’s panel of experts will continue evaluating games through the bowl season to determine the College Football Game of the Year.

Top nominations by week so far this year are:

  • Week 1: BYU 14, Oklahoma 13
  • Week 2: Houston 45, Oklahoma State 35
  • Week 3: Washington 16, USC 13
  • Week 4: Oregon 42, California 3
  • Week 5: UTEP 58, Houston 41
  • Week 6: Arkansas 44, Auburn 23
  • Week 7: Florida 23, Arkansas 20
  • Week 8: Clemson 40, Miami 37 (OT)
  • Week 9: Oregon 47, USC 20
  • Week 10: Navy 23, Notre Dame 21
  • Week 11: Stanford 55, USC 21
  • Week 12: Ole Miss 25, LSU 23
  • Week 13: Alabama 26, Auburn 21

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by Daniel Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year. Moore is a well-known artist for his paintings on college football.

At the end of the season and bowl games, a final review of nominations will be prepared for consideration. The winning school receives a commemorative limited edition fine art print and a $5,000 donation for its general scholarship fund.

The Academy’s expert panel includes such former esteemed coaches as Hall of Famers Vince Dooley from Georgia and Jack Lengyel, the coach at Marshall University after a plane crash claimed the lives of 75 team members and coaching staff in 1970.

Sport Artist Bernie Fuchs Passes Away

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Bernie Fuchs, selected as the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year in 1991, passed away recently at the age of 76.

Fuchs was best known for his works in golf, auto racing and horse racing. He also painted portraits of five presidents and sports greats Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali.

Fuchs’ style is described on the ASAMA website as “realistically detailed, and his fascination with sunlight and the way it illuminates and transforms objects into a multitude of soft colors also gives his work a modern-day Impressionistic look.”

Sport Artist Donates Works to Academy

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Painter Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki of Greece, the 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, made a donation of her works to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). She donated a dozen giclees featuring Ferraris competing during Formula One competition. Papatheodorou-Valyraki is the official artist for Formula One.

Bay Bears Coach Pursuing Degree at Academy

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Bay Bears hitting coach Turner Ward

Mobile Bay Bears hitting coach Turner Ward is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at the United States Sports Academy.

Ward, 44, is a native of Orlando, FL, and played in the major leagues from 1990 to 2001 with six different teams, mostly as an outfielder. He finished is career with 39 home runs and 219 RBI in 1,548 at-bats.

The Bay Bears are the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Canadian Paralympian Wins Samaranch Disabled Athlete Award

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Canadian Paralympian Chantal Petitclerc has been named the winner of the 2010 United States Sports Academy’s Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President’s Disabled Athlete Award.

The Quebec native has been a dominant figure in wheelchair racing, having won five gold medals in each of the last two Paralympics — Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. Petitclerc won races covering distances from 100 meters to 1,500 meters. During the Beijing Paralympics, she set three world records and four Paralympic records. During her career Petitclerc has collected 21 Paralympic medals, including fourteen golds.

In 2008, The Canadian Press voted Petitclerc its Female Athlete of the Year, the first time a Paralympian received the honor. Other previous awards include being named Canadian Personality of the Year by the Canadian news magazine MacLean’s in 2004, and the 2005 Laureus Sport Award as the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.

Petitclerc is a Quebec native. An accident at age 13 left her a paraplegic, but she took up sports in high school. She discovered wheelchair racing at 18 and set her sights on becoming the best in the world.

The Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President’s Disabled Athlete Award is presented annually to the physically or mentally challenged athlete who displays courage, desire, and athletic ability in the face of adversity to achieve the goals set forth in the athlete’s particular arena of competition.

‘Character Counts’ Founder Earns Academy’s Distinguished Service Award

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United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees member Dr. Gary Cunningham, left, presents a Distinguished Service Award to Michael Josephson, the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

Michael Josephson, the founder of “Character Counts,” a sports program that gives coaches and parents the tools to build athletes’ character and create champions, has been named a 2009 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) winner by the United States Sports Academy.

Josephson is the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, based in Los Angeles. Virtually every U.S. athletic organization endorses Josephson’s “Pursuing Victory With Honor” sportsmanship campaign. The program addresses topics with children such as problems with sports programs, healthy lifestyles and building character through sports.

Dr. Gary Cunningham, a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, presented Josephson with his DSA in Los Angeles.

Josephson’s “Character Counts” program focuses on six primary tenets: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. A former law professor and businessman, Josephson sold a publishing company and a national bar exam preparation chain, left teaching behind and opened his Institute. His amazing work has been noted by UCLA, which named Josephson its 2009 Alumnus of the Year.

The DSA is given annually to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research or service. The DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport and each recipient also receives the coveted Order of the Eagle Exemplar for their achievements.

Each nominee must possess an extensive background in sports. This means that the individual must have had significant dealings in either instruction, research or service in sports for more than 10 years.

Academy Alumnus Teaches Sports Marketing Seminar in Jamaica

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Dr. Anthony Borgese with Sports Marketing Students

Dr. Anthony Borgese, a member of the United States Sports Academy’s Distance Learning Faculty, taught a seminar on Sports Marketing in Kingston, Jamaica on 19-22 November. The seminar was staged by the International Best Practice Network (IBPN). Borgese is an Associate Professor of Tourism and Hospitality with the City University of New York at Kingsborough Community College. He received his Doctorate in Sports Management from the Academy.

Help Academy Support Toys for Tots

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The United States Sports Academy’s staff and faculty show their donations to the Toys for Tots cause. The Academy is a regional collection center for Toys for Tots in Baldwin County.

The United States Sports Academy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation are teaming up for the 15th year to help underprivileged children enjoy a memorable Christmas.

The Academy has long been a regional collection center for the Toys for Tots program in Baldwin County. Local residents may bring donations to the Academy each Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are not living in Baldwin County, visit the Toys for Tots website at toysfortots.org to find a drop location in your area and donate a new, unwrapped toy, or make a cash donation.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.

More than 400 million toys have been distributed to 188 million needy children since the inception of the Toys for Tots.

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