News & Events

Sports Journalist Evan Weiner Earns Academy's Sports Media Award

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Evan Weiner

Evan Weiner, a sports journalist/commentator known for his columns about the business and politics of sports, has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award.

Weiner has been a contributing columnist for Newsday, the New York Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, Metro Philadelphia, Metro New York and the Washington Examiner. He is a re-occurring guest on “Politics Live” with Sam Donaldson.

Weiner also lectures at colleges and universities about the business and politics of sports, including the globalization of North American sports and how technology is changing sports. His book, The Business and Politics of Sports, has been critically acclaimed by academic journals and is used as part of a number of sports business management courses at schools throughout the United States.

He started his journalism career at the age of 15 by hosting a Spring Valley High School talk show on WRKL Radio, Mount Ivy, N.Y. in 1971, while also covering high school sports for the Rockland Journal News in Nyack, N.Y. By 1978, he was covering news for WGRC Radio, where he won two Associated Press Awards. In the 1980s, he started his long association with Westwood One Radio, where he had a daily radio commentary, “The Business of Sports,” that ran for eight years. Weiner has also appeared on programs on the History Channel with Al Michaels and Frank Deford, as well as the BBC Radio Documentary Sports and Sponsorship.

The Ronald Reagan Media Award, named in honor of the 40th President of the United States, is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to sport through broadcasting, print, photography or acting. The individual should exhibit imagination, excitement and genius in kindling a keen public interest and appreciation for the role of sport in modern society.

Women's Sports Pioneer Wins Academy Distinguished Service Award

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Nawal El Moutawakel

Nawal El Moutawakel, the first woman from an Islamic nation to win a medal in the Olympics, will receive a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy.

El Moutawakel, Morocco’s secretary of state for sport and youth and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), won the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. This made her the first Moroccan, first African woman, and first Iowa State University athlete to win the gold. During her four years at Iowa State, she won four Big Eight championships, an NCAA title, and gold medals in the Mediterranean Games (twice), University Games, and African Championships.

When she returned to Morocco in 1989, she was appointed inspector at the Ministry of Sport and Youth and then became the national sprint and hurdle coach for both men and women. In 1997, she became secretary of state for sport and youth.

Throughout her professional career, El Moutawakel has used her popularity and influence to continue breaking down barriers for women. She has been an agent of change in the male-dominated Moroccan society, helping and inspiring other women to assert themselves through sport. She organized the first-ever Moroccan women’s 10-kilometer race through the streets of Casablanca, an event that now attracts more than 20,000 participants.

She has led significant change for women in sport on the international level. In addition to being a member of the IOC Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic Games, she was president of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2012 and 2016 games, making her the first woman to serve in each of those capacities. She has also been a leader in AIDS education and tsunami relief efforts.

The Academy’s Distinguished Service Award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research, or service. While the DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport, its recipients also receive 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 instruction, research, or service in sports for more than 10 years.

Four-time Iditarod Champion Wins Academy's Courage Award

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Lance Mackey

Lance Mackey, the only musher ever to win the 1,200-mile Iditarod dog sled race four times, won the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Mildred “Babe” Didrikson-Zacharias Courage Award.

Mackey is the only one to win both the Iditarod and the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest in the same year (less than two weeks apart.) He is also the only one to win the Yukon Quest four times. All of these feats came after surviving throat cancer.

Born and raised in Alaska, Mackey grew up around dog mushing. His father, Dick Mackey, was one of the founders of the Iditarod, which began in 1973. Mackey’s father won the race across Alaska’s wilderness by one second in 1978. His brother, Rick, won the race in 1983.

Mackey’s dream to carry on the family name in mushing almost ended when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent extensive surgery as well as radiation treatment. He started the 2002 Iditarod with a feeding tube still in place in his stomach, but had to drop out of the race halfway into it.

He took 2003 off to regroup. For the next several years, Mackey continued to run dogs and won his first Yukon Quest. In 2007, he returned to the Iditarod and won.  He would end up winning both races four times, winning both in the same year three times. Perhaps his proudest personal accomplishment is that he has been honored on both the Quest and the Iditarod for taking the best care of his dogs, who he considers to be the true champions.

The Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates courageous action in overcoming adversity to excel in sports. This individual should exhibit the qualities of courage, perseverance, grace and strength in sports achievement.

Iron Bowl Print by Daniel Moore

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Daniel Moore (right), the 2005 American Sport Artist and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, displays is 2009 College Football Game of the Year photo with Dr. Gaylon McCullough, a center the Alabama Crimson Tide in the early 60s and teammate of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. Moore has donated paintings of the Alabama-Auburn "Iron Bowl" games from 1948-’88 when the game was played in Birmingham. Football fans can celebrate the upcoming 2010 Iron Bowl and/or just find an ideal Christmas gift for fan in their family by purchasing a framed painting of a classic Iron Bowl game for only $100.

Academy Vice President Speaks About Youth and Sport at World Conference

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Sport can be a key in addressing global concerns about today’s youth, Dr. T.J. Rosandich told an international audience in New York earlier this month.

The United States Sports Academy Vice President talked about how sports can help guide youth away from common childhood health problems and exploitation, during a presentation given at WorldForum 2010, the 21st annual summit of the International Forum for Child Welfare (IFCW). Some 500 delegates from 40 nations gathered to take stock of current successes and obstacles, to share cutting edge research, innovative solutions, and best practices, and to plan for future action.

“Participation in sports provides a natural appeal for youth,” Dr. Rosandich said. “Properly channeled, it can be a tremendous vehicle for individual and societal development.”

He said sport encourages healthy lifestyles that can reduce chronic diseases such as those to the circulatory system and diabetes.

“Properly developed sports programs also serve to combat the exploitation of youth,” Dr. Rosandich said. “Youth are characterized by a combination of naiveté and passions that can be exploited for political purposes including mobilizing them for political demonstrations.” He also pointed out many children are exploited by criminal enterprises because penalties for criminal behavior are less for juveniles than for adults.

“Participation in sports remains one of the best tools available to instill in youth both the skills and character traits that they will eventually need to be successful in the workplace as adults,” he added.

Dr. Rosandich was invited to the conference by Matilda Cuomo, the wife of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and mother of N.Y. Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo, whom he met in April when the Academy and the Business Council for International Understanding hosted a special dinner in New York City for Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak and First Lady Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah.

Baseball Star Albert Pujols Presented Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

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Albert Pujols accepts Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

Albert Pujols is used to getting showered with awards in November for his on-the-field performance, but Tuesday night he was honored for his off-the-field achievements.

Jack Scharr, the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees Chairman of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), presented the three-time Major League Baseball MVP with the Academy’s Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award at the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony 16 November.

Pujols was recognized for his service to people with Down Syndrome, and to impoverished people in his native Dominican Republic.

His accomplishments in baseball are well known. He is a three-time National League Most Valuable Player, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and six-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Pujols and his wife, Deidra, whose daughter has Down Syndrome, formed the Pujols Family Foundation (PFF) five years ago, to benefit people with Down syndrome, disabilities, and/or life threatening illnesses, as well as children and families living in impoverished conditions in the Dominican Republic.

Raising a child with Down Syndrome had given the Pujols family an understanding of what families in the same situation want and need, therefore the foundation supports a variety of programs to meet those needs.

Late in the 2010 season, nearly the entire Cardinals’ active roster took time off from a pennant race with the Cincinnati Reds to attend the Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis for the Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Classic, to raise money for and bring awareness to Foundation projects in the Dominican community of Batey Aleman. The main project, “Batey Baseball,” involves forming a baseball league in the community. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, his entire staff, Shaquille O’Neal, Bo Jackson, Bobby Knight and hockey player Barret Jacksman also attended.

Representatives of the foundation went on a fact-finding mission to Batey in February to launch the Batey Baseball and “Nest” initiative. Nest is an organization that makes micro-business loans to women in developing countries to create vocational skills and make products for the U.S. market.

The Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program, honoring “the artist and the athlete.” It is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind. This individual should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform. Recent winners include 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, New York Jets running back LaDamian Tomlinson, Tiger Woods, and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo.

Northwestern's Comeback Over Iowa wins College Football Game of the Week

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Northwestern’s two fourth quarter touchdowns knocked No. 13 Iowa out of the Big 10 title chase and earned the Wildcats the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.

An interception near the goal line by Brian Peters kept the Hawkeyes from increasing their 17-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, who threw for 318 yards in the game, guided fourth-quarter touchdown drives of 85 and 91 yards.

The College Football Game of the Week, voted upon by a national panel of experts, is nominated for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

World's Premier Miler in the 1950s Passes Away

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Pictured from left to right: Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (Head Track and Field Coach of the Quantico Marines); Wes Santee (Kansas); Everett Trader (Occidental); Bill Taylor (USC); and Cordell Brown (Utah State).  The above pictured individuals composed the best mile relay team in the United States in 1956.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (Head Track and Field Coach of the Quantico Marines); Wes Santee (Kansas); Everett Trader (Occidental); Bill Taylor (USC); and Cordell Brown (Utah State). The above pictured individuals composed the best mile relay team in the United States in 1956.

Wes Santee, a Kansas track star, Olympian, and member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, died Sunday, 14 November 2010, at the age of 78 after a fight with cancer.

Wes Santee was the American record holder in the mile during a time when the world’s greatest milers all vied to break the four minute barrier in the one mile race. Those who chased the sub four minute mile included the British miler Roger Bannister, who was the first to actually succeed. Bannister was immediately followed by the Australian miler John Landy.

While Santee never did break 4-minutes, he did set four American records in the mile and wound up with a lifetime best of 4:00.5.

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich had the privilege of coaching Wes Santee during those years as they both served in the United States Marine Corps.

Princess Haya Wins Academy’s Eagle Award

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Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan

For her contribution to equestrian sports and the Olympic Movement, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Eagle Award.

Princess Haya was Jordan’s first female professional athlete and the first female to represent her country internationally in sport, as a 13-year-old show jumper. She was the first female to medal in equestrian sports at the Pan-Arab Games, earning a bronze in show jumping. She also competed in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

This year she became a member of the International Relations Committee for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), after serving three years on the IOC. In early November, she was re-elected to serve her 2nd term as President of the International Equestrian Federation, having been first elected in 2006. Princess Haya has been an IOC member since 2007 and has served on the IOC Athletes’ Commission (2005-2010) and on the Commission for Culture and Olympic Education. She is also president and founder of the International Jordanian Athletes Cultural Association.

Princess Haya has a strong humanitarian presence both on local and international levels. Her work and interests focus on humanitarian issues and human development concentrated primarily on the areas of health, education, youth and sports. She continues to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially those of eliminating poverty and hunger. She was the first Arab and first woman to serve as World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador (2005-2007) and in September 2007, Princess Haya was selected by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, the highest honor bestowed on a global citizen by the United Nations Secretary-General to address pressing problems around the world.

Princess Haya is the daughter of HM Late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and HM Late Queen Alia Al Hussein and the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Eagle Award is the United States Sports Academy’s highest international honor. It is presented to a world leader in sport to recognize that individual’s contributions in promoting international harmony, peace and goodwill through the effective use of sport. The recipient of this award must have tempered strength with keen judgment in using authority wisely as a means of bringing nations together through sport for the betterment of mankind.

Doctoral Students Complete Comprehensive Exams

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Doctoral Students Complete Comprehensive Exams

Six doctoral students at the United States Sports Academy completed their comprehensive final examinations on the Academy’s campus on 10-12 November. Standing in the lobby are (front row, left to right) Sichan Park of South Korea; Melissa Thomas of Saraland, Ala.; Mark Streiff of Evans Mill, N.Y.; (back row) Kristene Kelly of Raleigh, N.C.; .William Nowlan of East Longmeadow, Mass.; and Dr. Fred Cromartie, Dean of Academic Affairs for the Academy. Not pictured is John Starr of Lyverly, Ga.

2011 Sport Artist of the Year Weber Honors Military with Art Exhibit

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Harry Weber (left) receives the 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award from Trustee Jack Scharr

Harry Weber (left) receives the 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award from Trustee Jack Scharr.

Harry Weber, recently named the 2011 American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, honored veterans who served their country with a special art exhibition on the United States Sports Academy’s campus Wednesday, 10 November.
The Academy also honored the 235th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, while kicking off its annual campaign as a major drop-off point for Toys for Tots, with this exhibition. The Marines have recognized the Academy as one of the largest Toys for Tots collection sites in the region.

Weber displayed a series of sketches depicting scenes from the Korean War, Desert Storm, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan in an exhibit entitled “A Warrior’s Sketchbook.” Weber presented the Academy with a bronze statue of a soldier holding up an American flag, entitled “Wounded Warrior.” This sculpture was donated in recognition of the Academy’s dedication to educating the nation’s wounded warriors.

Weber donated the sketches featured in the art exhibit to ASAMA, and they are being sold with the proceeds going to the Academy’s Wounded Warrior scholarship program, which provides scholarships for those injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine birthday party
Marine birthday party
Marine birthday party
Marine birthday party
Marine birthday party
Marine birthday party

Weber was presented with the 2011 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award by United States Sports Academy Trustee Jack Scharr at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Mo. on 22 October.

Weber, a man who has had a busy decade decorating the country with bronze statues, was one of the featured guests at a gala celebrating the anniversary of the art centre, located in the St. Louis suburbs. The presenter, Scharr, is the president of Fine Art Ltd. and the Academy Trustees’ Chairman of ASAMA.

The 21st century has been a busy time for Weber. Thirty-six out of 44 of his most noted works have been displayed at major venues over the last decade. This includes 10 statues displayed at the St. Louis Cardinals’ newest version of the Busch Stadium. The subject of one of those statues, former Cardinal player Ozzie Smith, was also a featured guest at the gala.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipient may use a variety of art media to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports 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.

Youth Olympics President Earns Academy Distinguished Service Award

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Ng Ser Miang

Ng Ser Miang

Ng Ser Miang, president of the first Youth Olympics held in Singapore, will receive a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy.

As a former sailor, Miang won a silver medal in the Southeast-Asian Peninsular Games, and is currently the patron of the Singapore Sailing Federation and past vice president of the International Sailing Federation, as well as past president of the Asian Yachting Federation.

Miang is now Singapore’s Ambassador to Norway and Hungary. He is the chairman of the Board of Governors for the Singapore Olympic Academy, vice-president of the Singapore National Olympic Council and chairman of its Finance Committee, as well as chairman of the advisory committee of the Olympic Council of Asia. A nominated Member of Parliament from June 2002 to January 2005, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in September 2005.

He served 11 years as chairman of the Singapore Sports Council and has also served as vice president of the Organizing Committee and chairman of the Finance Commission for the 17th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, president of the Organizing Committee of the 117th IOC Session in Singapore and Chairman of the first Asian Youth Games Steering committee.

The Academy’s Distinguished Service Award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research, or service. Each nominee must possess an extensive background in sports. This means that the individual must have had significant dealings in his or her area of sports for more than 10 years. While the DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport, its recipients also receive the coveted Order of the Eagle Exemplar for their achievements.

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