2012 October

People Places and Programs

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Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich has been appointed to serve on the Global Advisory Board for the International Sports Hall of Fame in Austin, Texas. The Hall of Fame annually awards at least six athletic legends in March at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

Betsy Smith (right), the Academy's Director of Academic Administration and Continuing Education, receives from Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) a Certificate of Merit for successfully leading the Sports Authority of Thailand on a tour of American sports programs.

Betsy Smith, Director of Academic Administration and Continuing Education, earned a Certificate of Merit from the Academy for leading the successful Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) study tour of American sports programs for the sixth consecutive year.

Dr. Conrad Woolsey, the Academy’s chair of Sports Studies, attended the 2012 Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) International Annual Conference in Atlanta. He presided over the Coaching/Leadership lectures and was the moderator for the Research Poster Sessions. While at the conference, Dr. Woolsey began the process of being on the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) registry.

Dr. Tim Foley has been promoted at the Academy to Dean of Student Services.

Dr. William Steffen is the Academy’s new chair of Sports Coaching. He has more than 20 years of teaching and soccer coaching experience, including serving as the University of Oregon head women’s soccer coach for nine years.

Dr. Robert Cantu, the Academy’s 2009 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award, recently released a new book, “Concussions and Our Kids.” A leading neurosurgeon and concussion expert, Dr. Cantu co-authored the book with sports journalist Mark Hyman. 


International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) Annual Conference – Oct. 24-26 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum in Newport, Rhode Island

Peace and Sport International Forum – Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Sochi, Russia

The Eighth International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on Sport, Culture, and Education – Nov. 25-27 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Academy Sport Artist of the Year Sergey Eylanbekov Unveils New Sculpture in Azerbaijan

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Sergey Eylanbekov, the United States Sports Academy’s 2004 Sport Artist of the Year, recently unveiled a bronze monument on the new state-of-the-art campus of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy that pays tribute to Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev.

A bronze statue by Sergey Eylanbekov of Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev.

Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy located in Baku, Azerbaijan, is a school of international relations, which was established in March 2006 and accepted its first undergraduate students in 2011.

The world-renowned sculptor was born in Russia in 1960 and trained to be an artist in the acclaimed Moscow Surikov Academy of Fine Arts. In 1989, Eylanbekov immigrated to New York City.

Earlier this year, he also unveiled an acrylic sculpture of legendary soccer player Pelé in Libreville, Gabon, in honor of the nation’s new stadium that hosted the African Cup, the continent’s national soccer championship tournament.

His career includes becoming the Official Artist for the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games in 2002. In 2004, Eylanbekov’s sculpture titled, “Five Continents,” won the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Sport Art Competition for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Eylanbekov’s works can be found in public and private collections primarily throughout the United States, Europe and Russia.

Wiregrass Museum Displaying Exhibit of Academy’s Southern Sports Artists

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Some of the most celebrated sporting athletes, events and American pastimes created by a few of the United States Sports Academy’s Sports Artists of the Year are now on display at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Ala.

You can see, for example, “Crimson Rose,” by Tuscaloosa, Ala., painter Rick Rush, the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year. His colorful painting depicts the University of Alabama’s victory in the 2009 college football national championship game over the University of Texas.

Wiregrass Museum of Art Executive Director Tara Holman (left) receives an art donation from the Academy of "The Shutout" painted by Daniel Moore. It was presented by Academy representative Duwayne Escobedo during the Oct. 4 reception for the exhibit, "Southern Sports Artists."

Also part of the collection of more than two dozen pieces on display is Bart Forbes, “Dream Team,” painting that captures the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team, nicknamed the “Dream Team,” because it was the first team with active NBA players, such as Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Charles Barkley.

The Wiregrass Museum of Art is highlighting the sports artworks of seven Southern Sports Artists borrowed from the collection of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives in Daphne, Ala. ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, arguably holds the largest collection of sport art in the world with nearly 2,000 pieces.

The Wiregrass exhibit, “Southern Sports Art,” is on display through Feb. 23, 2013 and is open free to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

A recent reception to kickoff the exhibit on Oct. 4  attracted about 40 people to view the art. In addition, the Academy donated three pieces to Wiregrass in appreciation: “Shutout” by Daniel Moore, “Super Cam,” by Rush and “Spirit of the Bay,” by Cristóbal Gabarrón.

The exhibition at the Dothan, Ala., museum features artwork by renowned sports artists from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.  The prominent sports artists included in the Wiregrass exhibit are: Opie Otterstad, Forbes, Moore, Rush, Robert Zimlich, Roald Bradstock and Liston Bochette.  This exhibition includes images highlighting a variety of Southern pastimes including football, fishing, basketball, golf and baseball.

The exhibit also features a piece by Otterstad, the Academy’s 2006 Sport Artist of the Year, that is a portrait of legendary golfer Ben Hogan. It is painted on thousands of lined-up golf tees. Hogan, who won nine career professional major championships, was the first of 27 similar portraits of golfers on tees that Otterstad created.

The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) was established in 1986 in the historic Water and Electric Building located in downtown Dothan. This building was built in 1912-1913 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum that serves Dothan and the Wiregrass Region occupies 18,000-square feet of gallery space. Original plans called for a $2.8 million, 30,000-square-foot museum.

ASAMA was established in 1984 by Academy Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. Located in Daphne, Ala., the sports art museum is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

For more information about the exhibit or Wiregrass Museum, call 334-794-3871 or visit www.wiregrassmuseum.org. For more information about ASAMA, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.asama.org.

Thailand Students' Education Continues on Tour of American Sports Programs

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For some Thailand students in the United States Sports Academy’s year-long sports certification program in sports management and sports coaching, they received an educational experience they will never forget traveling across America from San Francisco to Orlando.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Academy led Thailand sports officials and students on a two-week tour of American sports facilities and programs, including a San Francisco Giants baseball game and tour of the IMG Academies sports training programs in Central Florida.

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) group gives thumbs up to is tour of the San Francisco Giants ball park.

Arth Nana, a Thailand student who earned his International Certificate in Sports Management from the Academy, reports that he learned a lot about facilities management during tours of the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park, Stanford University’s stadium and the Winter Olympic facilities at Park City, Utah.

Nana, the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand director, says those visits sparked ideas about how to improve the use of the government’s sports facilities found in each of Thailand’s 77 provinces, as well as the 50,000-seat national stadium.

At the sports facilities in the provinces, many of which sit empty from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week by his estimates, former Thailand Olympic athletes could be enlisted to teach sport to youth and nearby schools also could be given permission to use the facilities for physical education classes and other events.

Meanwhile, the rarely used national stadium, which is owned and operated by the Thailand government, could start trying to host other events, such as concerts, Nana says.

“We were all very impressed with the facility management and the marketing of the different venues to generate revenue from sporting events and non-sports events,” Nana says. “In Utah, they have even created family-oriented activities. You can bobsled with an athlete and feel the thrill of 80 miles per hour.”

Orasee Jayapoom, who is the Sports Authority of Thailand’s (SAT) Human Resource Department Director and who headed the group of 15 Thais, says one thing that struck her was Americans’ passion for sports. She reports enjoying the coaches training of young athletes at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla.

“Wherever we went, ESPN, Stanford, IMG, they all had great passion for sports and for their work,” she says. “The people we met were very impressive. We need people like that who can develop programs for our Thai athletes.”

In addition, during its up-close and in-depth tour of American sports from Sept. 17-30, the SAT group visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney’s All Star Sports Resort. While they were at the Academy in Daphne, Ala., to conclude their tour and receive their certification diplomas, the Thailand sports group took in a Spring Hill College women’s soccer game and Daphne High School football game.

At the Academy, the Thailand students attended a seminar to listen to Dr. Wirt Edwards, the Academy’s Chair of Sports Exercise Science, speak on nutrition, Dr. Conrad Woolsey, Chair of Sports Coaching, discuss coaching and motivation, and Dr. Arthur Ogden, Chair of Sports Management, talk about management in sports.

The Academy, the largest graduate program in sport education in the world, developed a relationship with Thailand more than 50 years ago. The sports university has delivered sports programs and services to 65 countries around the globe. The Academy is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as one of the first universities in the United States dedicated to sports education. The university has grown into the largest graduate school of sport education in the world.

The SAT is Thailand’s primary sports organization and plays a vital role in developing sport. The Academy offers Thailand students both an International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) and Sports Coaching (ICSC).

“Our relationship with Thailand is one we truly treasure,” said Academy Vice President and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich. “We hope they found the tour informative as they traveled around the country. We are pleased we will be teaching in Thailand again next year.”

Thrilling U.S. Open Champions Voted September’s Athletes of the Month

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The men’s and women’s U.S. Open champions who both won in thrillers—Andy Murray and Serena Williams—were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s September Athletes of the Month.

Murray had to dig deep for stamina and mental strength to outlast Novak Djokovic in a nail-biting, five-set U.S. Open final to win 7-6 (10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. The 25-year-old Scot almost let a two-set lead against Djokovic evaporate, before prevailing in a fifth set. He became the first British male tennis player to win a grand slam title since 1936, after going 0-4 in his previous Grand Slam final appearances.

Andy Murray

Meanwhile, Williams was two points shy of defeat in the U.S. Open, but suddenly regained her composure and her strokes to rally and win the last four games and beat Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. The win was Williams’ fourth U.S. Open championship and 15th overall Grand Slam title. With the win Williams became the first women’s tennis player to cross $40 million in tournament earnings. She also joins Martina Navratilova as the only women over 30 years old to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in the same season in the Open era since 1968.

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 two weeks 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 the world’s fastest man—Usain Bolt. After becoming the first sprinter to successfully defend his 100- and 200-meter Olympic titles, the Jamaican finished a fantastic 2012 season with a win in Brussels, Belgium. The 26-year-old Bolt clocked 9.86 seconds in the 100 meters to win his first ever Diamond League title.

The runner up to Williams on the women’s ballot was WNBA Most Valuable Player Tina Charles. She won her third-straight rebounding title with 10.5 rebounds per game, setting league records for single-season rebounds and rebounding average. Charles, who averaged 18 points per game, also joins two other players in league history to average at least 15 points per game, while shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

Serena Williams

Third place winners for September were Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who’s rookie debut made him the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Sweden’s Lisa Norden finished third for winning her second consecutive gold medal in the the 2012 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series.

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.

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