2012 February

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its latest monthly graduates.

Bachelor’s Students

  • Richard Hazen Akins (Auburn, Ala.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
  • Jonathan R Pick (Spring, Texas) – B.S.S. Sports Management
  • Travis C. Rogers (Clarksville, Ark.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Ermias Zewde (San Diego, Calif.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching

Master’s Students

  • Benjamin Josef Adams (E. Windsor, Conn.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching MSS Sports Medicine
  • Rebecca Elizabeth Knaff (Cody, Wyo.) – M.S.S. Sports Medicine

Doctoral Students

  • Michael David Armstrong (Elgin, S.C.) – Ed.D. Sports Management Human Resources

Academy Partnership with Gabon Kicks Off at African Soccer Championships

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Pelé (left) plants a kiss on the bronze bust of himself

Pelé’s (left) plants a kiss on the bronze bust of himself that was sculpted by Harry Weber, the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, as Gabon President Ali Bongo looks on. Photo courtesy of Prince Jackson.

For nearly two years, the United States Sports Academy and the Republic of Gabon have planned to undertake a comprehensive study of the West Africa nation’s sports programs and facilities and to begin the Academy’s sport education programs there.

Those efforts were finally launched in February with the progressive nation that is seen as a promoter of peace and stability in that region of the world. President Ali Bongo, in fact, serves as the United Nation’s Security Council chairman.

A delegation of seven Gabon officials led by the minister of education Seraphin Moundounga and minister of culture, youth and sport René Ndémézo’o Obiang visited the Academy in Daphne, Ala., to formalize the agreement in September 2010. The partnership came about after Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich had a detailed discussion about President Bongo’s vision for sports during a visit to Libreville, Gabon’s capital city, in March 2010. In addition, Joe Szlavik, the Academy’s Board of Visitors chairman, has served as the university’s liaison to Gabon and has helped keep the partnership moving forward.

Under the agreement, the Academy will assess the current state of facilities, equipment, programs and staff qualifications as well as other associated aspects of Gabon’s sport program. Representatives of the Academy will develop a master plan for the country with recommendations based on their findings. Gabon, which has a population of about 1.5 million, has participated in the Olympics since 1972 with its largest delegation being sent to the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.

In addition, Dr. T.J. Rosandich is currently leading a legacy study on Gabon’s new 40,000-seat Friendship Stadium in Libreville. It co-hosted the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which crowned that continent’s soccer champion, Zambia, on Feb. 12. Dr. T.J. Rosandich has done some major sport studies in Africa, including the entire sport complex in Kenya.

During the Academy’s 40-year history as a university focused on sports education, the Academy has delivered education programs and services, such as the ones to Gabon, in 65 countries across the globe from Latin America to the Middle East and the Caribbean to Southeast Asia.

In addition, the Academy was pleased to work with Gabon on three major art projects for its new Libreville soccer stadium. It commissioned three of the Academy’s Sports Artists of the Year to provide works of art honoring Pelé, the black pearl of Brazil and one of the world’s greatest soccer players ever. These works were nothing short of magnificent.

President Bongo unveiled the works on Feb. 9 during a ceremony dedicating the new stadium along with Pelé, who attended the final week of the Africa Cup. Dr. T.J. Rosandich emceed the event and played a major role in staging the event, which was carried in the media throughout the world.

The artworks for the major soccer tournament included:

  • A bronze bust depicting a smiling Pelé sculpted by Harry Weber, the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year from St. Louis.
  • A multi-dimensional acrylic sculpture that features Pelé executing his famous bicycle kick created by Sergey Eylanbekov, the 2004 Sport Artist of the Year from New York City.
  • A painting depicting Pelé dribbling the soccer ball down field done by Stephen Holland, the 1993 Sport Artist of the Year from Hollywood, Calif. This piece is signed by Pelé and will be displayed in the Pelé Room at the VIP entrance to the new stadium.

Pelé was described as so honored and pleased with the art that he picked up Eylanbekov, who was also at the Gabon ceremony, and swung him around in his arms. Pelé recalled receiving a Distinguished Service Award as part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport in 1988.

Please Check Your Mailboxes For Information About Alumni Survey

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We are asking all of our graduates to please check their mailboxes during the next week for a postcard from the United States Sports Academy informing you about our upcoming Alumni Survey. If for some reason, you do not receive the postcard, please follow the instructions found below.

In celebrating the Academy’s 40th Anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to include our graduates in this exciting time. We would like to invite graduates to participate in the upcoming survey by updating their current email.

The Alumni Survey will be sent to all Academy graduates via email on March 16, 2012. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee conducts an Alumni Survey every five years so that we can better understand and meet student expectations, and to assess our academic programs for our students.

Updating contact information will allow graduates to receive future alumni updates, while also informing the Academy of post-graduate successes.

Surveys will be sent to email addresses that are currently on file if the Academy does not receive an updated email. Responding alumni will receive a complimentary Academy T-shirt.

Survey information provides vital data to understanding the experiences and perceptions of alumni after graduation. This is also an opportunity for alumni to network and help continue to grow the Alumni Association. Joining the group is as easy as visiting the Academy on Facebook.

You can update your information using:

Academy Makes Another Military Friendly List for Colleges

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The Academy earned the Military Advanced Education magazine's distinction as a top military friendly university for the second consecutive year.

The Academy earned the Military Advanced Education magazine’s distinction as a top military friendly university for the second consecutive year.

The Academy has a long record of being military friendly and helping many service men and women earn their sports-related degrees or take sport education courses, even while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Academy was recognized for its efforts recently by the Military Advanced Education (MAE) magazine, a leading higher education journal for service members. It was the second consecutive year that the Academy earned the distinction that recognizes the nation’s top military friendly universities. Another similar distinction was bestowed on the Academy by G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military transferring to civilian life.

Active-duty military are able to take courses or earn their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees 100% online. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, uses innovative technology that makes courses accessible 24/7, which allows students to start a course anytime from any place in the world.

Another way the Academy has made its regionally accredited education programs more accessible to the military is by slashing its tuition by one-third for active-duty military men and women and those in the “Wounded Warrior” program last year. That means military now pay $250 per credit or $750 per course for a Bachelor of Sports Science degree. In addition, the price is reduced for military by $250 per credit for both master’s and doctorate degrees.

The university has worked closely with the “Wounded Warrior” program to deliver its online sport education programs to military personnel, who are ill, wounded or disabled from post 9/11 overseas combat duty. The Academy hosted members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Warrior and Family Services Program in August 2010 to begin providing its courses.

In 2007, the Academy Scholarship for Wounded Warriors was created by its founder and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corp. He kicked off the scholarship after touring the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he met with many young, severely wounded American troops.

“Our soldiers sacrifice so much for our country,” Dr. Rosandich says. “This is a traumatic time for them and we have always tried at the Academy to support them in any way that we can.”

The university, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, offers active-duty military
the chance to complete their bachelor’s degree. If students have received an associate’s degree or earned a minimum of 36 semester hours of general college courses at any school, then they can enroll in the Academy’s upper-division bachelor’s program. The Academy makes transferring into the military friendly Academy, as easy as possible. To learn more details about the program go to: ussa.edu/go/bachelors/.

Earning a degree can lead to jobs in the sport profession as a coach, athletic trainer or administrator in the future. In fact, about 77% of Academy graduates are currently employed in the $400 billion sport industry.

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Tracy S. Lahr completed his Sports Performance courses last year, while serving in Kuwait. His battalion commander asked him to explain the Academy’s programs to all the other soldiers who were serving there and he highly recommends them.

“The United States Sports Academy online courses are beneficial to anyone in the military who has the desire to continue to learn and to improve themselves both mentally and physically,” Lahr says. “The Academy program provided me with a wealth of information relating to the fitness and nutrition industry. It will be a vital asset to me in both civilian and military life.”

Former Trustee Sweet Receives Street & Smith's Champions Award

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Former Trustee Sweet Receives SportsBusiness Journal's Honor

Dr. Judith Sweet, one of the first women to serve on the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees, was recently selected as one of six “Champions” by the Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal.

The magazine’s “The Champions: Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business,” is an award that recognizes leaders who have devoted their careers to building and shaping the sports industry.

Sweet is currently the co-director of the Alliance of Women Coaches, which began in May to increase the diversity and number of women in the profession of coaching. In 1975, she became one of the very first women in the nation selected to head a combined women’s and men’s intercollegiate athletic program when she led the University of California, San Diego. She spent 24 years as the athletic director at San Diego. Plus, Sweet was once the NCAA’s primary contact for Title IX and Gender Equity Initiatives.

The SportsBusiness Journal’s award, which will be announced in a special Champions tribute section in its March 26 issue, cites Sweet because she “broke barriers throughout her respected career in intercollegiate athletics.”

Sweet, who was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame in September, joined the Academy’s Board of Trustees in 1984 and served twice. She also holds a doctorate from the university.

A leader in women’s intercollegiate athletics, Sweet also became the first woman to be elected as the NCAA secretary-treasurer in 1989 and the membership president in 1991. She served on more than 20 NCAA committees and she retired in 2006 as the NCAA senior vice president for championships and education services. She has also won numerous awards throughout her career in sports.

Others named to the magazine’s 2012 “The Champions” list are: Steve Sabol, one of the founders of NFL Films; Bill Battle, a visionary in sports licensing; Humpy Wheeler, one of the most successful promoters in racing; Ed Snider, a leading sports entrepreneur in Philadelphia; and Don Ohlmeyer, one of the most influential forces in sports television the past 40 years at ABC Sports and ESPN.

Top-ranked Men’s and Women’s Tennis Players Voted Academy’s Athletes of the Month for January

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

The world’s top-ranked professional tennis players, Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, both earned selection as the United States Sports Academy’s January Athletes of the Month for winning the Australian Open.

Djokovic outlasted Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam match in history – 5 hours and 53 minutes. The 24-year-old Serb won the Australian Open for the third time by rallying to defeat Spain’s Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5. The match in Melbourne ended at 1:37 a.m. and Djokovic joined Nadal, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rod Laver as the only players to have won three majors in a row since the sport turned professional in 1968. Only two men have managed to win all four of the sport’s biggest tournaments in a single year, which Djokovic says is his goal this season. Laver did it in 1962 and 1969, while American Don Budge achieved the feat in 1938.

Meanwhile, Azarenka, a 22-year-old from Belarus, won her first career Grand Slam title with a dominating 6-3, 6-0 victory over Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open finals. Azarenka, who was ranked third, became the new No. 1 women’s tennis player on the WTA Tour. Azarenka was tied at 2-2 with Sharapova but then she reeled off 10 of the remaining 11 games to earn the title. She had also won the Sydney International tournament in January against China’s Li Na, the defending French Open champion.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first week of each month to vote on the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with the Academy’s selection committee choose the winners and they are announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of The Sport Update.

Finishing second in the men’s category was Shaun White. The American snowboarder earned the first perfect score in Winter X Games history in the men’s Snowboard SuperPipe finals to win his fifth consecutive gold medal. He scored 100 out of a possible 100 points on his final run by unveiling his newest trick, a frontside double cork 1260. He nailed it on the final wall of his last run becoming officially the only person to have ever landed the trick.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

The runner up to Azarenka on the women’s ballot was Lindsey Vonn. The American skier won two races and finished second in a third race at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Vonn has now won 49 World Cup races in her career. The Olympic downhill champion torched the St. Moritz speed track for a whopping 1.42 second margin of victory. The downhill win was Vonn’s eighth triumph of the season, second in two days and extended her World Cup overall lead to 352 points over Slovenia’s Tina Maze.
Third place winners for January were Eli Manning, an American quarterback for the New York Giants who led his team to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots with outstanding performances throughout the playoffs; and American soccer star Abby Wambach, who led the United States women’s national soccer team to a CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying final’s victory and a berth in the 2012 London Olympics. She also scored her 131st goal to move into second on the list for the most goals scored all time, trailing only Mia Hamm’s 158 goals.

The winners of the Academy’s male and female Athletes of the Month will be considered as candidates for the 2012 Athlete of the Year ballot. In December 2012, the Academy will name the male and female Athlete of the Year for the 28th consecutive year. The recipients of this prestigious award are selected annually through worldwide online balloting hosted by the Academy in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports.

In 2011, the Male Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia and the Female Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan. Both of them dominated 2011’s ballot that drew as many as 50,000 votes a day from across the world.

People, Places, and Programs

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Dr. T.J. Rosandich and Pelé

The Academy’s Dr. T.J. Rosandich shakes hands with soccer legend Pelé during his recent visit to Gabon.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich traveled in January to Washington, D.C., to attend the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) annual meeting. He also attended the opening of a Cristóbal Gabarrón’s art show, “Gabarrón’s Roots,” at the American University Museum.

Academy Vice President, Chief Academic Officer and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich traveled in February to Gabon for the dedication of its new 40,000-seat Friendship Stadium in Libreville that is hosting the Africa Cup of Nations. Dr. Rosandich is also leading a legacy study on the future uses for the facility.

Tim DeVinney, a National Faculty member, traveled to Thailand from Jan. 30-Feb. 3 to teach a course in Olympic Culture and Education, in cooperation with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) as part of the Academy’s International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) program.

Amber Magner, an Academy residential doctoral teaching assistant, traveled to Bangkok, Thailand on Jan. 23-27 to teach a course in Sports Coaching Methodology, in conjunction with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) as part of the Academy’s International Certification in Sports Coaching (ICSC) program.

Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough, an internationally known facial plastic surgeon, teacher, author and motivational speaker who is also an Academy Board of Visitors member, was one of the individuals interviewed on the HBO/NFL Films documentary, “Namath,” about Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath that debuted Jan. 28. McCollough played center for the University of Alabama and hiked the ball to Namath during the 1964 national championship season.

Stephen Holland, the Academy’s 1993 Sport Artist of the Year, was chosen for the third consecutive year to create several new works for the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche as their official artist.

Kadir Nelson, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year, has on display his original paintings for his book, “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass. The exhibition runs from Feb. 7 to June 10.

Roby Remembered as Sports Pioneer and First Woman Trustee for Academy

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Dr. Mary Roby

Dr. Mary Roby

Sports pioneer Dr. Mary Roby, who was one of the first women to serve on the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees, died recently at the age of 85.

“She was a visionary in women’s sports and had a significant impact,” says Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, the Academy’s president and CEO. “Her service on our Board of Trustees was most impressive and she will be missed by all.”

Roby joined the Academy’s board in 1984 along with Dr. Judith Sweet. She served the University of Arizona women’s athletics program for three decades during the most important period in the growth of college sports. Roby retired from the Tucson, Ariz., university in 1989.

Roby was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. She began her time at the UA as an undergraduate, then in 1959 was hired as a professor in exercise and sports sciences, coach and administrator in Arizona’s women’s athletics. She worked in athletics from the time the program was only club sports to when Arizona became a prominent Division I sports program. Arizona’s budget for women’s sports grew from $8,000 at the time of her hiring to more than six figures during her 30-year career.

At Arizona, Roby directed the UA Women’s Recreation Association, served as women’s athletic director, had a hand in creating most UA women’s athletic programs, and was one of the first women named to the NACDA’s Executive Committee. She also was vice president of the Pac-10 Conference and was a founder and board member of the Council of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.

Other hall of fame inductions in Roby’s career included the UA’s Mortar Board Hall of Fame in 1981, the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the NACDA Hall of Fame in 1995.

“Her leadership and advocacy has led to thousands of sport opportunities for young girls and women, not just at Arizona, but across the nation,” says Rocky LaRose, deputy athletic director, in a press release. “The foundation she laid has led the Arizona program to the great successes we enjoy today.”

California Swim Coach Teri McKeever Receives Academy’s 2011 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award

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Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever, the University of California-Berkeley and 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s swimming head coach, received the United States Sports Academy’s 2011 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award.

McKeever earned the prestigious award for leading the Cal women’s swim team to its second NCAA championship in three years and being named an Olympic swim coach for the London Games. McKeever was presented the award recently during halftime of a Cal men’s basketball game by Dave Maggard, who is the former Cal athletic director, a founding member of the Academy’s Board of Visitors and a previous recipient of the Carl Maddox Sport Management Award.

You can view the award ceremony at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDPpvNciyok.

“I am honored by the award,” McKeever said. “It was especially nice to have (Maggard) there. I appreciate his words of kindness and inspiration. Go USA! Go Bears!”

Maggard added: “McKeever is having a wonderful career and is well known for the many contributions she is making to the sport of swimming. She is more than deserving of this Academy award.”

Now in her 19th year as head coach, McKeever has a long record of coaching success. She is widely regarded as one of the best swimming mentors today in the United States. She has earned recognition as an influential innovator in the sport because of her unique training methods and for turning unnoticed or burned-out swimmers into Olympians and world champions.

The Academy’s C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award is annually presented to someone like McKeever who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach of women’s teams. In addition, the coaching award honors women who exhibit a high standard of propriety, imagination, and innovation as a character-builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches.

During her career at Cal, McKeever is a four-time Pacific 12 Conference Coach of the Year, and she earned National Coach of the Year honors twice for leading the Golden Bears to their first two NCAA titles in 2009 and 2011.

McKeever became the first woman head coach to lead her swimming and diving team to a national championship. Under her leadership, Cal has produced two NCAA Swimmers of the Year and four Pac-12 Swimmers of the Year, and 15 consecutive top 10 NCAA finishes.

McKeever has also experienced international success as a U.S. Olympic women’s swimming team coach. McKeever will lead the 2012 team in London, after serving as an assistant coach in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. McKeever was the first woman coach on the U.S. Olympic swimming team, after she also served as a U.S. assistant at the 2004 Athens Games. She was the first woman to be named head coach of the U.S. national team at a major international meet in 2006.

Her current and former pupils at Cal include Olympians and world champions, such as Dana Vollmer, Haley Cope, Staciana Stitts, Sara Isakovic and Natalie Coughlin.

Pelé Honored by Gabon and the Academy at Africa’s Soccer Championships

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Gabon President Ali Bongo (left) presents a multi-dimensional acrylic sculpture honoring legendary soccer player Pelé (right).

Gabon President Ali Bongo (left) presents a multi-dimensional acrylic sculpture honoring legendary soccer player Pelé (right) at the dedication Feb. 9 of the country’s new Friendship Stadium in Libreville, Gabon. It is hosting the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Pictured from left to right are: President Bongo, 2004 Academy Sport Artist of the Year Sergey Eylanbekov, United States Sports Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich, and Pelé.

The Republic of Gabon and the United States Sports Academy honored soccer legend Pelé during the dedication of the country’s new national stadium in Libreville on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Gabon’s new 40,000-seat Friendship Stadium in its capital city is co-hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, which are the continent’s soccer championships.

As part of the tournament and dedication of the stadium, Gabon worked with the Academy to commission three of its Sport Artists of the Year to create pieces depicting Pelé. The unveiling of the artwork at the event featured Gabon President Ali Bongo, Pelé, Joe Szlavik, the Academy’s Board of Visitors chairman, and Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich, who served as emcee and helped stage the ceremony.

The three artists and their works include:

  • A bronze bust depicting a smiling Pelé, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, was sculpted by Harry Weber, the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year from St. Louis.
  • A multi-dimensional acrylic sculpture that features Pelé executing his famous bicycle kick was created by Sergey Eylanbekov, the 2004 Sport Artist of the Year from New York City.
  • A painting depicting Pelé dribbling the soccer ball down field was done by painter Stephen Holland, the 1993 Sport Artist of the Year from Hollywood, Calif. This piece is signed by Pelé and will be displayed in the Pelé Room at the VIP entrance to the new stadium.

President Bongo, who serves as the United Nation’s Security Council chairman, unveiled the works of art Feb. 9 as part of the stadium opening and hosting its first major sporting event.

Dr. T.J. Rosandich is leading a four person team to study Gabon’s new soccer facility and its future uses. In addition, the Academy has partnered with Gabon to begin evaluating the country’s sports programs, developing a master plan to enhance the country’s efforts and establishing a sport education program to train its coaches and teachers.

Gabon, which has a population of about 1.5 million, has participated in the Olympics since 1972 with its largest delegation being sent to the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. Gabon’s national soccer team lost in the quarterfinals of this year’s Africa Cup. Zambia won the championship Feb. 12 in a dramatic 8-7 shootout over Ivory Coast after finishing the game in a scoreless tie.

U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest Winners Announced for London Competition

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Omnipotent Triumph

Martin Linson won the Olympic Sport and Art Contest in the Sculpture category with his bronze, “Omnipotent Triumph.”

The winners of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest are Primo Angeli for his graphic work, “London Calling,” and Martin Linson for his sculpture, “Omnipotent Triumph.”

The American artists will now compete in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Art Competition against entries from 48 other nations in June for the chance to win $30,000 and to have their art displayed at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The U.S. contest was conducted by the United States Sport Academy in cooperation with the Art of the Olympians and under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). It was the fourth consecutive U.S. Olympic Sport and Art contest that the Academy has overseen. The sports university has a strong tradition of supporting the arts, establishing the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) in 1984, which arguably features the largest collection of sport art in the world.

The U.S. Olympic art winners and three runners up in Graphic Works and Sculpture are on display for a limited time at the Academy’s museum in Daphne, Ala., which is open weekdays to the public for free.

London Calling

Primo Angeli won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest in the Graphic Works category for his piece, “London Calling.” Pictured with the artwork is Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left), who is on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, and Mr. Jack Scharr (right), who heads Fine Art Ltd in Chesterfield, Mo., the Fine Art Licensee for the USOC for the past 13 Olympic Games.

Angeli, a world-renowned artist, has a long history of working with the Olympics. Angeli, who founded and headed one of San Francisco’s oldest and largest design studios, created the official poster to commemorate the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, which was personally selected by the late IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. Angeli’s work is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and The Museum of Modern Art.

Angeli’s mixed-media illustration, “London Calling,” depicts the classic portrayal of the ancient Greek discus thrower, Discopolis. Angeli added an armband to him with the 2012 London Olympic logo on it. The piece integrates contemporary branding with ancient fine art for an Olympic celebration.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this great world event,” Angeli says. “I really felt like I had to combine the classical and avant-garde to create an Olympic message that brings together the ancient and modern.”

Linson entered the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest for the second time, finishing as a runner-up in the 2008 competition. Linson has a unique style in the representation of the human anatomy that has brought him major commissions such as the President of Lindenwood University. Linson’s works are in numerous private collections.

An emerging artist from St. Charles, Mo., Linson’s bronze sculpture, “Omnipotent Triumph,” is a tribute to the Paralympic athlete. It features an Olympian crossing the finish line in his wheel-chair with his arms uplifted in a triumphant “V” for victory pose.

“This is a big honor for me,” Linson says. “Paralympians have always been amazing to me and I wanted to show them at a point of perfection—finishing and winning the race.”

The U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Judging Committee was chaired by Jack Scharr, who heads Fine Art Ltd in Chesterfield, Mo., one of the world’s largest publishers of fine art commemorating special events and the former Fine Art Licensee for the USOC for the past 13 Olympic Games.

Scharr says the judging held at ASAMA in Daphne, Ala., was difficult with so many outstanding quality works in both Graphic Works and Sculptures. They included entries from several prominent American artists with past involvement in the Olympics.

“I believe the two pieces that won the national contest have the best chance of going to the IOC’s international competition and being selected as winners,” Scharr says. “Angeli’s piece is such a strong Olympic image and I like that Linson’s sculpture is highlighting the Paralympics in this competition.”

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun says he looks forward to seeing how Angeli and Linson do in the international portion of the contest when results are revealed in London this summer.

“We are quite pleased to see the excellent works selected,” Blackmun says. “For the fourth consecutive Olympiad, the United States Sports Academy has demonstrated its expertise in the area of art and sport by conducting the U.S.
Olympic Sport and Art Contest.”

The IOC’s Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, will oversee the international phase of the art contest. It will set up an international jury formed by authorities on art from all five continents along with representatives of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education and The Olympic Museum. It will award the following prizes for each of the two categories of works of art entered in the international phase of the contest: $30,000 and a diploma for the first prize; $20,000 and a diploma for the second prize; $10,000 and a diploma for the third prize; and five further diplomas for runners up.

ASAMA, a division of the Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open to the public free from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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