2013 February

Olympian and Artist Liston Bochette Tours Academy's Sport Art Museum

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Dr. Liston Bochette III (left), a secretary general of the World Olympians Association and the United States Sports Academy’s 1996 Sport Artist of the Year, and Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (right) toured the institution’s American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) on Saturday, Feb. 23.

They are posed next to the bronze torsos of “Mars and Venus” done by Sergey Eylanbekov, the Academy’s 2004 Sport Artist of the Year. The sculptures were dedicated in November 2011 in honor of two Olympians in recognition of their marriage—Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of the Principality of Monaco. Albert, the ruler of Monaco since 2005, competed in the bobsled in five Winter Olympics between Calgary in 1988 and Salt Lake City in 2002. His wife, Charlene Wittstock, is a former South African Olympic swimmer who competed in the 2000 Sydney Games.

Bochette, who also competed in the Olympics for Puerto Rico, visited the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus during a conference in the area for about 100 leaders in sports medicine and science, who also toured the Academy’s sport art museum. The museum, with about 1,700 pieces, arguably holds the largest collection of sport art in the world. It is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

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
Martin R. Allen (Beebe, Ariz.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Jay L. Crane (Meridian, Miss.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
Daniel D. Novak (Houston, Pa.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Michael B. Young (Greenwood, Ind.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching

Master’s Students
Jorge I. Hernandez (Bergenfield, N.J.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Larry Benjamin Lucero (Three Forks, Mont.) – M.S.S. Sports Management NCAA Compliance Emphasis
David M. Mauer (Dallas, Texas) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Kyle M. Spencer (Mansfield Center, Conn.) – M.S.S. Sports Management

Doctoral Students
Kathryn Eileen Henschel (Banning, Calif.) – Ed. D Sports Management Human Resources Management

Learn more about Academy programs at USSA.edu

Wish of a Lifetime Founder Jeremy Bloom Receives Academy’s 2012 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

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Believing that elderly have dreams, too, Olympic skier and former NFL player Jeremy Bloom grants wishes to about 400 seniors annually.

Bloom launched Wish of a Lifetime four years ago and originally named it in honor of his grandmother, Donna Wheeler, who he says inspired him growing up. Now, with the non-profit foundation’s help, people over the age of 65 can experience their lifelong dreams ranging from simple to elaborate ones.

Jeremy Bloom (right), an Olympic skier and former NFL player, receives the Academy's Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award for his work with seniors. Presenting the award is Dr. Robert Block, an Academy Board of Trustees member.

His passion for helping the elderly has earned him the 2012 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award from the United States Sports Academy. The Humanitarian award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind and exhibited the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform.

“These people are national treasures,” says Bloom, who received the award Feb. 11 in San Francisco from Academy’s Board of Trustees member Dr. Robert Block.

In the past year, wishes have ranged from visiting the University of Oregon football players and coaches to riding in a World War II fighter jet.

Bloom is a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympian and 11-time World Cup gold medalist in freestyle moguls skiing. In 2005, he won a record six straight World Cup events, the most in a single season in the sport’s history. He was an All-American football player at the University of Colorado and has played professional football as a wide receiver and return specialist for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information, call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu.

Wish of a Lifetime aims to inspire a generation and create a cultural shift in how we view aging in America. By granting lifelong wishes to seniors ages 65 and older who have overcome tremendous challenges in their lives, the organization is able to spread inspirational stories of hope. Two-time Olympic skier, World Cup gold medalist, entrepreneur and former NFL football player Jeremy Bloom established the foundation in 2008 in living honor of his grandmother, Donna Wheeler. In 2011, Wish of a Lifetime granted 191 wishes, and 95 percent of wish recipients stated they felt their quality of life improved after having their wish granted. In addition, 96 percent reported an increase in physical health, and 94 percent said they felt an increase in their overall purpose in life. Since 2008, Wish of a Lifetime has made more than 400 hundred wishes come true for seniors in 45 states and the District of Columbia. For more information about the organization, and to help fulfill a senior’s wish, visit www.seniorwish.org.

Academy Alumni Help College Students Experience the NFL at Super Bowl

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For the sixth consecutive year at the Super Bowl, United States Sports Academy alumnus Dr. Dexter Davis volunteered to help run the NFL Experience, a fan favorite with all of its interactive, hands-on activities.

This year, Davis, a York University visiting professor, was also joined by three other Academy alumni: Dr. Richard C. Bell, Program Director of Sport Management at Colorado Mesa University; Dr. Fred Cromartie, the Academy’s Director of Doctoral Studies; and Dr. J. Barry Shaw, a Schreiner University Sport Management professor. All four earned their doctorates in Sports Management from the Academy.

Four Academy alumni, all who earned their doctorates in Sports Management from the institution, helped oversee volunteers at the NFL Experience at the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Pictured left to right are: Dr. Barry Shaw, Dr. Fred Cromartie, Dr. Richard Bell and Dr. Dexter Davis.

Not only did they help oversee the nearly 150 college volunteers representing 26 universities, together they conducted research on all the students to find out how the work experience at the National Football League event, which draws about 300,000 people, impacted them. Students filled out pre- and post-surveys and the data is currently being collected and analyzed. The research will be reported soon by Davis and his fellow Academy alumni.

Davis reports that one student was offered a job as a result of his volunteer work at the NFL Experience.

“If you work hard and do the things you need to do, you can get a lot out of it,” Davis says. “This can be a fun experience for the students. The fans definitely all have fun and it’s a great way to keep them engaged.”

This was the 21st NFL Experience at Super Bowl XLVII and was held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4. Pro football’s interactive theme park offers participatory games, displays, entertainment attractions, kids’ football clinics, free autograph sessions and the largest football memorabilia show ever.

The annual NFL Experience, which is a spectacle that attracts families from across the country, gives fans a chance to relive their days in the backyard, or times cheering on their favorite athletes. Tickets cost $20-$25 and you do not have to have Super Bowl tickets to take part.

Cromartie says his experience at the NFL event was rewarding, especially because many teaching moments presented themselves throughout the week there.

“It was great to have four Academy graduates there,” he says. “It was long hours and hard work but fun. All the student volunteers I worked with enjoyed being part of a mega-sporting event and the opportunity to learn lessons that they can apply in their future sports careers.”

People Places and Programs

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Academy Vice President and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich will begin a world tour on Feb. 14 and will return to the Academy March 15.  His travels will include visits to Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Gabon. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dr. Rosandich will work to mount the Academy’s major physical education and sports coaching program. In Gabon, the Academy’s sports study will be conducted.

Dr. Will Evans, the Academy’s Dean of Academic Affairs, is attending the Annual Meeting of the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science to be held in Point Clear, Ala., Feb. 21-24. Approximately 70 attendees from the meeting will be on campus for a tour of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives Feb. 23.

Daphne Public Library Director Tonja Young (left) accepted recently a donation of 265 books from United States Sports Academy Vice President and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich (right) on behalf of the sports university.

Academy National Faculty members Tim Dornemann and Dr. Pete Mathiesen will travel Feb. 15-23 to Bangkok, Thailand, to teach courses in conjunction with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT). Dornemann is teaching a course in Ethics in Sports, and Dr. Mathiesen is teaching a course in Sports Administration.

Jim Santos,  an Academy National Faculty member, is working to build a park for special needs children, adults, seniors and veterans in Fresno, Calif. With a recently acquired state grant, his team is now in the final planning stages of building the largest park for the disabled in the United States.

Dr. Robert Goldman, Academy Board of Trustees member and 2012 Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award winner, was recently inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Goldman also received the Global Humanitarian Hall of Honors Award, which was given for the first time in 13 years.

Erin Boles, the Academy’s Coordinator of Alumni Affairs, and Leigha Bolton, Administrative Assistant/Communications Coordinator at the Academy, participated in the Alabama Lifestyles Expo at the Caribe Resort in Orange Beach on Feb. 7.

Daniel Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year and a prominent Alabama artist, is working with aTeam Ministries to create a special oil painting to be auctioned off at its Annual Heart 2 HeART Program and Gala event Feb. 16 in Birmingham, Ala.  aTeam Ministries paired Moore with pediatric cancer survivor Nick Bowens to create the painting, “Overcoming Adversity.”

Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, the Academy’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, who resides in Athens, Greece, donated several Formula 1 car paintings to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives.  In May, Papatheodorou-Valyraki is scheduled to hold an art show at the Pagani Showroom on Excalibur Park Lane in London.

MAJOR PROGRAM EVENTS

The National Art Museum of Sport’s third annual Commitment to Excellence in Art and Sport: A Fine Art Competition  – Sept. 15-May 1

TAFA Art Exhibit: Memory Fragments – Feb. 8-March 22, in the Portlock Black Cultural Center’s EPI/Riley Temple Gallery at Lafayette College in Easton, Penn.

Joint Commission on Sports Medicine & Science Annual Meeting – Feb. 21-24 in Point Clear, Alabama

The 6th QS WorldClass Seminar – Apr. 1-3 at W Taipei Hotel in Taipei.

2013 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD) National Convention  – Apr. 23-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina

Higher Education Institutions Leaders: An Annual International Symposium – May 20-23 at the Athens Institution for Education and Research in Greece

Max Aaron and Victoria Azarenka Voted January’s Athletes of the Month

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American men’s figure skater Max Aaron and Belarus women’s tennis player Victoria Azarenka were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s January Athletes of the Month.

Aaron

Aaron won his first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships by defeating three-time champion Jeremy Abbott. With two quadruple salchow jumps in the opening of his free skate and an arsenal of other tricks, the little known, 20-year-old upstart announced his arrival on the national stage in a bold fashion. The 2011 junior champion won the gold with 255 points total.

Meanwhile, No. 1-ranked Azarenka won her second consecutive Australian Open singles title in Melbourne Australia. Despite a hostile crowd, the 23-year-old beat Chinese star Li Na, 4-6, 6-4, and 6-3.This victory allowed Azarenka to become the fifth active women’s player with more than one Grand Slam singles title.

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 for the male and female Athletes of the Month.

Azarenka

The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.

Finishing second in the men’s category was Shaun White, the 26-year-old American snowboarder. He brought X Games Aspen to a close with his sixth consecutive victory in the superpipe competition. White earned a 98 on his second run. He began his second run with a record-setting 24-foot, 1-inch backside air above the walls of the pipe, breaking his own mark by a foot.

The runner-up to Azarenka on the women’s ballot was Missy Franklin, who was the only swimmer to earn four gold medals at the Austin Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.  At the three-day event, Franklin won the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke and 100 and 200 freestyle. Franklin set a pool record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:07.31.

Third place winners for January were Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi for winning FIFA’s Golden Boot award for the fourth time; and American snowboarder Arielle Gold, a 16-year-old who captured gold in the woman’s half pipe at the World Snowboarding Championship in Stoneham, Quebec.

Aaron and Azarenka are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2013 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 29th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.

In 2012, the male Athlete of the Year was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who became the first man ever to win both the 100- and 200-meter races in successive Olympics. The female Athlete of the Year was American tennis player Serena Williams, who became the singles champion at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics. Both Olympians dominated 2012’s online ballot in December, which drew tens of thousands of votes a day from across the world.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Academy Faculty to Conduct Sports Study in Gabon

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The United States Sports Academy is sending a team, led by Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich, to conduct a comprehensive study of Gabon’s sports programs and facilities in its cities and rural areas.

Under its agreement with Gabon, the Academy will assess the current state of facilities, equipment, programs and staff qualifications, as well as other associated aspects of the West Africa country’s national sports effort. Academy representatives will develop appropriate recommendations based on their research and findings.

Academy's Dr. Fred Cromartie (left), Dr. T.J. Rosandich (center) and Betsy Smith (right) prepare for a 10-day field study to assess Gabon's sports program and facilities.

Besides Dr. Rosandich, the team includes Dr. Fred Cromartie, the Academy’s Director of Doctoral Studies, and Ms. Betsy Smith, the Academy’s Director of Continuing Education. They are being joined March 19-27 for field work and data collection by two educators from Gabon.

“Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba understands the importance of developing and engaging the country’s youth and that one of those vehicles is through its national sports programs,” Dr. Rosandich says. “One of the things we look forward to is helping the nation develop meaningful youth sports programs.”

For nearly three years, the Academy and Gabon have planned to undertake the comprehensive study, as well as starting up the institution’s sport education programs there. Those sports efforts were launched in 2010 with the progressive nation that is seen as a promoter of peace and stability in that region of the world. President Bongo, in fact, has served 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 Dr. Rosandich had a detailed discussion with President Bongo about his vision for sports during an initial visit in March 2010 to Libreville, Gabon’s capital city. 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 project moving forward.

Already, Dr. Rosandich has undertaken a legacy study on Gabon’s new 40,000-seat Friendship Stadium in Libreville. The stadium was a site of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which crowned that continent’s soccer champion, Zambia, last year. Dr. Rosandich has done other major sport studies in Africa, including the entire sport complex in Kenya.

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.

For nearly four decades, the Academy has provided sport education programs to more than 65 countries throughout the world. From the beginning, the Academy’s general mission has been to serve the world as a sport education resource, upgrading sport through programs of instruction, research and service.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu.

Olympic Reports and Sport Sculptures Donated to Academy’s Museum

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The American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) received a donation that includes 59 valuable copies of official Olympic Reports and other publications dating back to 1896, a complete collection of art from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and several sport sculptures from Lorrie and Richard Greene.

The Greenes donated 59 valuable copies of official Olympic Reports and other publications dating back to 1896, including reports from the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul (center).

“We are very happy to have our art and Olympic Reports displayed at ASAMA,” said Greene, an attorney who lives in San Francisco. “I hope to one day travel down to Daphne, Ala., to see the museum and our collection on display.”

After reading an article in The Wall Street Journal about ASAMA, Greene decided it would be the perfect place to house his collection.

“I read the article in The Wall Street Journal right before I attended the 2012 London Olympics,” Greene said. “At that time, we were thinking about moving our law firm and considered ASAMA the perfect place to move our collection. The books were just sitting on the shelves in my office for no one to see.”

Greene’s hobby of collecting Olympic art and reports started with spending quality time with his father as a child. His father shared stories of his experience as a spectator at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Those stories sparked an interest for Greene to finally attend the Olympics one day himself. Starting with the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Greene has attended a total of seven Olympiads.

“Being at the Olympics as a spectator is special to me because I love sports,” Greene said. “But I wanted to learn more of the history behind the Games. As I traveled to Los Angeles to visit my parents one day, a sports bookstore caught my eye. That’s where I bought my first official report.”

From there, Greene went on to collect a total of 59 official Olympic Reports and publications, including the rare 1988 Summer Olympic Reports from South Korea.

The Greenes donated “Carl Lewis – Out of the Blocks,” a wire sculpture that replicates American sprinter Carl Lewis at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

Including the reports, Greene also donated four sport wire sculptures created by Gregory Hill of San Jose, Calif.

“I commissioned Greg to build three sculptures, of which my favorite is a replication of American sprinter Carl Lewis at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul,” Greene said. “Lewis ended up winning the gold that year in the 100-meter final, after Ben Johnson was disqualified because of drugs. I even had the chance to see Lewis win four golds at the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A., as well as all his other Olympic golds.”

Greene had the opportunity to share the sculpture with Lewis, when Lewis was in San Francisco for a charity event. Greene called Hill to tell him the news, and Hill informed Greene that the sculpture, “Carl Lewis – Out of the Blocks,” replicated Lewis coming out of the blocks with the wrong foot.

“Hill easily fixed the sculpture to show Lewis stepping out on the left foot in time for Lewis’ visit,” Greene said. “When Lewis came to my office to see the sculpture, I asked him which foot was the first out. Lewis took a moment and said, ‘It was definitely my right foot.’ I shared the story of the sculpture’s original replication and Lewis completely understood. In fact, the sculpture that ASAMA has is the original piece with Lewis coming out of the blocks on the right foot.”

Greene has a story to tell for many of the pieces he donated to ASAMA and hopes that his collection will inspire others to learn more of the history behind the Olympics.

“I really enjoyed the journey of collecting the books and art throughout the years,” Greene said. “As I love sports and love the Olympics, collecting the reports have helped me learn so much more.”

ASAMA, a division of the Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 1,700 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. It is arguably the largest sport art collection in the world. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at One Academy Drive in Daphne, Ala. For more information about the Academy’s sport art museum, please visit www.asama.org.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Academy to Host USA Cycling Sanctioned Gulf Coast Interstate Relay 2013

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The United States Sports Academy’s campus in Daphne, Ala., will serve as a transition area for the inaugural Gulf Coast Interstate (GCI) Relay 2013, which includes both a cycling relay and an overnight running relay. 

Cycling and running teams will complete a 263-mile course from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach, Fla., covering four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida—in three days. The event, which is sanctioned by USA Cycling, is scheduled April 4-6 and is heralded as the longest relay in the South. 

“When I discovered the Academy was right along the route of the relay, I was excited about the shared interest and love of sports,” says Sarah Sadd, GCI Relay Race Director. “It was completely serendipitous that the Academy’s campus was the perfect location for a transition area. I’m very excited to partner with the Academy for this inaugural event and for many years to come.”

The teams will travel through Daphne late Friday, April 5, into shortly after midnight Saturday, April 6. Academy faculty and staff will serve as volunteers for the event. The relay participants, currently totaling more than 180, will have access to parking, bathrooms and showers during their stay at the Academy.

“We look forward to being part of GCI Relay’s great race,” says Dr. Stephen Butler, the Academy’s Chief Information Officer and Dean of Instructional Design and Technology. “It’s very exciting that USA Cycling is going to sanction the event, as cycling relays in the U.S. continue to grow.”

For more information about the cycling and running relays or to register for the event, visit www.gulfcoastinterstaterelay.com.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu.

Academy Celebrates Father of the Olympics on his 150th Birthday with New Olympic Course

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In celebration of the 150th birthday of Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, the United States Sports Academy has begun working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop an online course that can be delivered worldwide.

This major effort calls for the development of an online course that celebrates both the life and work of Coubertin, a Frenchman who lived from 1863 to 1937, and his Olympic philosophy of peace, internationalism, fair play, and sport for all among other tenants.

Pierre de Coubertin

The Academy is one of the few universities in the United States currently that offers courses on Olympism. The institution, also known as “America’s Sports University,” worked with the IOC and first began offering its Olympic courses 10 years ago, primarily to doctoral students in the Academy’s Sports Management program. The university also offers four other courses focused on the Olympics, as part of an emphasis on Olympism that students can take as electives.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich sits on the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, which advises the IOC on the promotion of culture and Olympic education and supports the IOC programs and activities related to the education of youth through sport.

Over the past several months, Dr. Rosandich has held discussions about developing a new course about Coubertin on his 150th anniversary with IOC members, including Dr. Tomas Sithole, the IOC’s Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development. He also met with Dr. Norbert Mueller, who is president of the Pierre de Coubertin Society and an author of a comprehensive book on Coubertin.

“The Olympic Movement started by Coubertin has brought our nations together peacefully like no other movement in our history and it is something worth celebrating around the globe,” Dr. Rosandich says.

Sithole says he would like to see Coubertin and his philosophy and teachings on the Olympic Games reach even more people around the world in the future through a new online course. Included in the course are Mueller’s 862-page book and a 30-minute movie on Coubertin.

“We want to engage young people across the world and promote sport education and Olympic values,” said Sithole, who visited the Academy after attending the United Nations for recent talks about using sport to enhance the development of youth and peace.

During his trip in 1889 and 1890 to the United States and Canada, Coubertin stopped in Mobile, Ala., which is across Mobile Bay from the Academy’s headquarters in Daphne, Ala., while visiting several universities, colleges, and high schools to learn more about the North American educational systems and sporting organizations.

After his travels to North America, Coubertin began working in 1890 to revive the ancient Olympic Games that originated in Greece. After a failed effort in 1892, he organized the International Athletics Congress in Paris in 1894, which led to the International Olympic Committee becoming established and the modern Olympic Games being born. Coubertin, who was born in Paris on Jan. 1, 1863, then took over as IOC President and held that position for 29 years until 1925, when he became Honorary President for life.

Although Coubertin was not the first to propose the revival of the Olympic Games, he was certainly responsible for “the creation of a festival of international athleticism.” It was Coubertin who organized a meeting with 79 delegates from nine countries who voted unanimously to hold the first Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens.

During his efforts to reestablish the Olympics, Coubertin argued at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris on Nov. 25, 1892: “Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally. It inspires me to touch upon another step I now propose and in it I shall ask that the help you have given me hitherto you will extend again, so that together we may attempt to realize, upon a basis suitable to the conditions of our modern life, the splendid and beneficent task of reviving the Olympic Games.”

Olympic involvement has been a longtime hallmark of the Academy, the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. Dr. Rosandich, who founded the university in 1972, has served as the national track and field coach for several different countries at the Summer Olympic Games. Also, the Academy has overseen the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) national sport and art contest for the past four Olympiads.

In addition, the Academy recently received a major donation of 59 valuable copies of official Olympic Reports and other publications dating back to 1896, a complete collection of art from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and several sport sculptures from Richard and Lorrie Greene of San Francisco. The Olympic publications and artwork will be displayed at the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which arguably holds the largest public collection of sport art in the world.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Blinded Afghanistan War Veteran Receives the Academy’s Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President’s Disabled Athlete Award

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One year ago, U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder stepped on an improvised explosive device laid by the Taliban near Kandahar and the blast blinded him. At the time, Snyder was trying to help victims of another bombing.

Today, the Afghanistan war veteran is a top American Paralympic swimmer, winning gold medals in the 100- and 400-meter freestyle and silver in the 50 at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He also holds several world records in swimming for blind athletes.

U.S. Paralympic blind and double gold medalist swimmer Brad Snyder (center) receives the 2012 Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President's Disabled Athlete Award from Al Cantello (left), a longtime Academy national faculty member, at a Navy swim meet Feb. 6. Looking on is Bill Roberts (right), the Navy men's swimming head coach. Photo by Debbie Latta.

His extraordinary achievements after suffering permanent injuries in battle have earned the 28-year-old Snyder the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC President’s Disabled Athlete Award. The Academy’s Samaranch 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.

Snyder received his award during a presentation Wednesday, Feb. 6 at an U.S. Naval Academy swim meet. He once served as captain of the Midshipmen’s swim team and graduated from the Naval Academy in 2006.  Al Cantello, a longtime Academy national faculty member and current Navy cross country coach, made the presentation as Navy swim coach Bill Roberts looked on.

“I greatly appreciate and am deeply honored to receive this award,” Snyder said. “It was great to have the presentation in such a nostalgic location, and it was great to be there with my old coach!”

Snyder, a Navy lieutenant, won his medals in his first Paralympic Games in front of many of his U.S. servicemen friends. They watched as he won gold in the 100-meter freestyle after setting a Paralympic Record of 57.18 seconds in the preliminary heat. The following day, he then won a silver medal in the men’s 50-meter freestyle by setting an American record of 25.27. Later that week, Snyder struck gold again in the men’s 400-meter freestyle with a time of 4:32.41.

For his amazing performances, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) gave Snyder the honor of serving as the United States’ flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Snyder plans to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Snyder, of St. Petersburg, Fla., competed in May at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he won four gold medals in swimming and three gold medals in track and field. In June, at the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Trials in Bismarck, N.D., Snyder won the 400 free by beating his personal best time by 54 seconds to set the world record among blind swimmers with a time of 4:35.62. In addition, Snyder set the world record for the 100-meter freestyle.

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