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Academy Graduate Represents MaxPreps in Presentation to Daphne Football Team

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Dr. Cromartie and Brandon Bowling

Academy graduate Brandon Bowling (right), who now works for CBS Sports Site MaxPreps, visited the campus and Academic Affairs Dean Dr. Fred Cromartie (left) during a business trip to Daphne. MaxPreps is an online high school sports information service that handles high school coverage. Tuesday night Bowling, who received a master’s degree in sports management in 2010, attended the Daphne High School basketball games to present the Trojans’ football team with an award for being one of the top high school teams in the country.

Work of Fairhope Potter John Rezner on Sale at Academy

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John Rezner

The work of John Rezner, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Ceramics, is on sale at the United States Sports Academy.

Jugs can be purchased at the Academy’s Daphne campus, at One Academy Drive, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Fairhope, Ala.-based artist known for his “face jugs” makes pottery that is seen all over the world from clay he digs from his own land. Baldwin County clay is highly prized for its aesthetic qualities.

A member of the Academy’s Art Committee, Rezner created a face jug – a jug shaped with an individual’s facial features – of the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple, leader of millions of Shaolin Buddhists.

“I presented (the jug) as a symbol of our two cultures merging,” Rezner said.

The jug is now in China as part of the Shaolin Temple’s museum collection. The Abbot received it when he visited the Academy’s Daphne campus in 2006 to receive an honorary doctorate.

Face Jugs are a unique pottery item found in the South. The origin of face jugs is not know for certain, but has its roots in the African American slave community. Some of the earliest examples are credited to “Dave the Slave,” who produced pottery from the 1820’s to the 1860’s in the Edgefield, S.C. area. Folk history holds that when someone in the slave community died, the jugs were modeled with devil faces and placed on the grave for a year. If the jug broke it was thought to be a sign that the soul of the deceased was wrestling with the devil. A second theory is that the scary faces were applied to jugs containing moonshine to keep children away from the contents.

Face jugs are still a widely collected form of pottery and are growing in popularity due to influential works by the legendary Lanier Meaders (White County, Ga. 1917 – 1998) who was descended from a family of potters. Another such potter, Steve Abee of Lenoir, N.C. belongs to the Catawba Valley, N.C. pottery tradition.

Rezner has now been commissioned to make face jugs of famous baseball players for the Academy’s “Mr. Baseball” campaign, a world-wide online vote to name a new baseball statue that is to be erected in front of the Academy next year. Some of those works, including jugs depicting Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, are already on display at the Academy.

The baseball statue is being created by another Fairhope artist, Bruce Larsen, whose “found object art” can be found on display in four statues outside on the Academy’s Daphne campus. The nomination process for naming the statue will continue until 1 April. Nominations can be submitted by logging on to http://ussa.edu/ballots/greatest-baseball-player-of-all-time-nominations.

The top ten nominees will be listed on a world-wide online ballot beginning on 1 April and continuing until the winner is announced on 12 July, the day of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Rezner’s pottery is the combination of three of his greatest passions: his family, the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and traditional pottery techniques. His work is fired using an anagama kiln, which is an ancient Japanese cave-like pottery kiln that uses the flame from burning wood as an artistic element. For generations, the anagama techniques have been adapted into Southern pottery.

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.

The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Academy Honors Professionally-Diverse Group in Awards Ceremony

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Leaders in sports business, administration, media, medicine and coaching were honored in a ceremony at the United States Sports Academy Friday afternoon.

Honorary doctorates were given to Guo Jie, president of WorldTeam Sports in China, and Jack Lengyel, former Marshall University head football coach and athletic director at the United States Naval Academy.

Also honored in the Awards of Sport Medallion Series were syndicated sports business columnist Evan Weiner, with the Ronald Reagan Media Award; and University of Alabama Assistant Athletic Director for Football Mike Vollmar, Alumnus of the Year. University of South Alabama head baseball coach Steve Kittrell and prosthetic specialist Kevin Carroll received Distinguished Service Awards from the Academy.

Guo is the inventor of Nine-Star sports shoes and owns China’s largest chain of athletic apparel stores, SportsCube. He was the first sport sponsor of the 11th Asian Games and helped purchase the first Chinese-owned Formula One racing team. He is a major partner in NBA operations in China.

“I am very happy to be a part of the Academy and will try very hard to continue to work with it in the future,” Guo said.

Prior to the presentation, Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich announced that Guo will be developing three major golf courses in China and has signed a protocol with the Academy to develop management programs for those courses over the next decade.

Lengyel was the coach who helped rebuild the Marshall football program after the 1970 plane crash that killed nearly all of the varsity players, coaches and many prominent members of the community of Huntington, W.V.

“I accept the award on behalf of the 75 people who were killed on that plane crash – including 24 boosters, players and coaches – and the 70 children who were left without one parent and the 18 who had no parents,” Lengyel said. “I am proud to have been a part of laying the foundation for rebuilding Marshall’s football program, a process that had many fathers.”

Weiner is known for his columns on the business and politics of sports and has been a contributor to Newsday, the New York Sun, The Orlando Sentinel, Metro Philadelphia, Metro New York and the Washington Examiner.

“I knew Howard Cosell very well,” Weiner said, referring to the legendary sportscaster who won the first Ronald Reagan Award in 1984, 11 years before his death. “When I heard I had won this award I imagined myself telling Howard about me winning this award. He would probably have said ‘Congratulations. You were the latest, but I was the first.’”

Carroll is the vice president of Hanger Prosthetics, a company disabled athletes turn to for prosthetic innovations that meet the challenges of elite completion. Rosandich congratulated him not only for what he has done for athletes, but also for wounded warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kittrell, who is entering his final season as USA baseball coach, is one of only 50 college baseball coaches to win more than 1,000 games. His teams had 18 NCAA regional appearances, 10 Sun Belt Conference championships and eight Sun Belt Conference tournament titles.

Vollmar received a master’s degree in sports management from the Academy in 1989, as did his presenter, Linda Moore, an Academy trustee and senior director for franchise development at ESPN.

“We must have been a really great class,” Moore said.

“The Academy was a pioneer in sports administration and continues to be a leader in that area,” Vollmar said.

The Academy presents awards each year, including its Awards of Sport, to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport. The awards have expanded over the years to honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, as well as the top professional athletes of the year.

The Academy and American Sports Art Museum and Archives annually recognize these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Medallion Series, Outstanding Athletes, Team of the Year, and Alumni of the Year awards.

Honorees may be nominated by any of the Academy’s worldwide constituents. This assemblage includes administration, alumni, faculty, national faculty, staff, students and members of various organizations and boards that work closely with the Academy on this special project. Following the nomination process, honorees are selected by the Awards of Sport Committee, a special group within the Academy that is comprised of the President’s Cabinet and other staff members with a vested interest and an extensive knowledge of sports and the arts.

Golf Management Programs Planned for China

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The United States Sports Academy, America’s Sports University, and WorldTeam, among the largest privately owned sport services companies in the People’s Republic of China, sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The United States Sports Academy, “America’s Sports University”, and WorldTeam, among the largest privately owned sport services companies in the People’s Republic of China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday, 7 January 2011, establishing the framework for the development of the Sino-American Golf Academy (SAGA) in that country.

Plans call for the development of three comprehensive golf cities in China, each with a SAGA campus as a centerpiece in the golf community. Groundbreaking for the first of the golf cities on 5,100 acres of property in Fujian will take place on 21 April and construction will take two years to complete. Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich will join WorldTeam President Guo “Jack” Jie for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Academy will be involved in the design and planning for all three of the golf schools. It is anticipated that the second and third of the golf cities will be developed in rapid succession following the launch of the first facility.

However, the golf education program will not have to wait for the completion of the campus in Fujian. The Academy and WorldTeam will develop a graduate-level certificate program in Golf Management in cooperation with the Hunan International Economics University located in Changshan, Hunan Province. The Hunan International Economics University is among the largest private universities in China and has already developed a Bachelor’s Degree in Golf Education.

As envisioned, the graduate certificate program would offer advanced training in Golf Course Management for senior golf club managers with an emphasis on western management skills. The recent approval of golf being added to the Olympic Games, combined with the explosive growth of the golf industry in China, has created a need for trained golf club professionals that is not currently being met by the educational institutions in that country. The first students in the Golf Management certificate program will be admitted to study in the fall semester.

Sport Summit Brings Insight from Academy Honorees

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Sport Summit Panel

There are some crazy parents in youth sports, and the most popular sporting event in the world is the India-Pakistan cricket match, according to the panel of experts who addressed a packed room at the United States Sports Academy Friday afternoon.

Four of the Academy’s Awards of Sport medallion winners, two Honorary Doctorate recipients and three Trustees shared their opinions and expertise during a 90-minute Sport Summit, titled “A 20/20 Vision of Sport: What Should We Expect to See in the Next 10 Years?” in the Academy’s art gallery.

The summit was carried on podcast by Panhandle Sports, and can be seen on the internet at http://panhandle.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?id=1C1D0992D6.

The emcee of the Summit, Academy Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Fred Cromartie, introduced the subject of the intensity of sports training for young athletes.

“I used to coach youth hockey in Yonkers, N.Y. and some of the parents are wackos,” said Evan Weiner, a syndicated sports columnist and author who won the Academy’s Ronald Regan Media Award. “I had a 7-year-old kid who was sneezing, coughing, and had a 102 temperature, and his father wanted him to play. I said ‘Why do you want him playing?’ and he said, ‘I want him to get a college scholarship.’”

University of South Alabama head baseball coach Steve Kittrell, who received a Distinguished Service Award from the Academy, said there is also too much sport specialization with young athletes, fewer of whom play two or three sports.

“I like to have guys on my (baseball) team who have played football, it makes them tough,” he said.

University of Alabama Assistant Athletic Director for Football Mike Vollmar, the Academy’s Alumnus of the Year, said too much pressure is being placed on young athletes.

“I grew up the son of a football coach and athletic director, and we were always allowed to play the sports and enjoy the sports,” he said.

Several members of the panel agreed that there needed to be more concern for the safety of athletes and treatment of athletic injuries.

“I spoke at a youth football camp and asked the coaches: ‘How many of you keep the name of a local doctor and the phone number of the local hospital on your clipboard?’” said Academy Honorary Doctor Jack Lengyel, former Marshall University head football coach and United States Naval Academy Athletic Director. “Out of 600 coaches, only two raised their hands. I said ‘Then there are only two coaches here that I would let my son or daughter play for.’”

Along with Lengyel, Guo Jie, president of WorldTeam Sports and major partner in all NBA events in China, received an honorary doctorate from the Academy Friday. He was asked about the future of the NFL in that country, which had at one time scheduled an exhibition game in his country.

“It’s too early for that kind of sport, we play ping pong,” Guo said. He also said there would need to be more television exposure for football in China, like the NBA has now.

Ping pong, or table tennis, is one of the top four sports in worldwide television ratings during the summer Olympics, according to Academy Trustee Jack Kelly, former president of the Goodwill Games. He said it usually trades off with badminton for third and fourth while track and field is number one and basketball is number two.

“And cricket matches between India and Pakistan bring in huge audiences because of their population,” he said.

An issue that will continue in international sports is that of disabled athletes. Cromartie asked Kevin Carroll, an Academy Distinguished Service Award winner who has designed prosthetic limbs for world-class disabled athletes, if there will ever be a time when such athletes will break the world records of able-bodied athletes.

“It will more likely happen in the 400-meters than the 100,” Carroll said. “Because in the 400, endurance is more of a factor.”

All panelists had something to say about the future of sport education. Academy Trustee Susan Blackwood, the Executive Director of the San Antonio Sports Foundation and a former assistant athletic director at the University of Texas, said officiating should be brought back to the physical education curriculum.

“It helps coaches gain an appreciation of what officials have to do,” she said.

Academy Trustee Dr. Gary Cunningham, who succeeded the legendary John Wooden as head basketball coach at UCLA and later served as athletic director at the University of California-Santa Barbara, said technology was a key factor in sport education in the future.

“The Academy should continue to stay on the cutting edge,” he said.

Business Award Presented to Chinese Entrepreneur During Daphne Visit

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Guo receives Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Award

A prestigious international business award was presented to one of China’s most powerful sports business leaders during his visit to Daphne Thursday night.

Peter Tichansky, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), presented the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Award for Sport to Guo Jie, President of WorldTeam Sports, at the home of United States Sports Academy President and CEO, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich.

Jie was in Daphne to receive an honorary doctorate from the Academy, which was presented to him on the Academy’s Daphne campus the following afternoon.

The BCIU is a leading business association established by President Eisenhower in 1955. This award has been presented to international business leaders for more than 25 years.

“Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Awards recipients represent the finest in entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership on the world’s stage and embody the pioneering view of commercial diplomacy established by BCIU founder President Eisenhower,” Tichansky said.

Jie has been a key player in the business and politics of sport in China in recent years.

He is the inventor of Nine-Star sports shoes, the first sports sponsor of the 11th Asian Games. He helped purchase the first Chinese-owned Formula One racing team, and is a major partner of the NBA operations in China. He could also be called China’s version of Nike founder Phil Knight, because of his chain of sporting goods stores, SportsCube, that has made him a major player in the sporting goods and sports sponsorship industries in the world’s most populous nation.

For 10 years, Guo successfully promoted and marketed the growth of Red Bull in Asia, and guided WorldTeam to the first strategic cooperation agreement with the NBA in China. He also planned and organized the first Chinese yacht sailing that went around the world. He was involved in the agreement to hold the Italian Super Cup preseason soccer matches in China. The first such match, in 2009, drew nearly 90,000 spectators.

Along with being CEO of WorldTeam, he serves as the senior manager of projects and international affairs in the Chinese sports industry, and Vice Chairman of the Tourism Association for Fujian Province. He also serves on the board of directors for the Fujian National Tourism Group.

WorldTeam Sports, formally titled China WorldTeam Investment Holdings Group Limited, is an international sports investment management group, professionally investing in China and other international sports and cultural markets. WorldTeam serves global business partners in the areas of sports projects investment, management, sports facilities, and properties management, and in exploration and development in sports markets, sports marketing, etc. Its main focus is sports commerce, media, real estate, and culture.

BCS Champion QB Cam Newton Honored by Academy, Artist

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Cam Newton

Before Auburn senior kicker Wes Bynum cleared the uprights as time expired and the engraving process for the Tigers’ BCS Championships rings began, the United States Sports Academy honored quarterback Cam Newton with the 2010 Alabama Male Athlete of the Year Award.

To commemorate this award, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner was honored by way of the paint brush of Rick Rush of Tuscaloosa, known as “America’s Sport Artist.” Rush, the 2011 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, Painter, unveiled his masterpiece of Newton at an art show on the Academy’s Daphne campus on 6 January.

The painting has now been released as a limited-edition poster, which is available at the Academy’s bookstore for $50. Versions autographed by Rush are available for $100. They can be ordered by logging on to www.ussa.edu/bookstore.

Newton was named Alabama Male Athlete of the Year by the Academy in December. In his first regular season as a starter for Auburn, Newton completed 67.89 percent of his passes for 2,254 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions, a passer rating of 185.57 (No. 2 in the nation). He carried the ball 228 times for 1,336 yards (111.33 average per game, No. 11 nationally). He followed that by becoming the third Tiger to win a Heisman Trophy and led Auburn to it second national championship (first in 53 years).

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich and Rick Rush (right) unveil SuperCam

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich and Rick Rush (right) unveil SuperCam

In the BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz. Monday night, Newton directed a 75-yard scoring drive in the final 2:33, ending with a field goal as time expired to give Auburn a 22-19 victory over Oregon.

Newton took over the starting quarterback role at Auburn after transferring from Blinn (Texas) Junior College, where he threw for 2,833 yards and 22 touchdowns, and ran for 655 yards and 16 touchdowns in a season that ended with a national junior college championship. He spent one year at Blinn after transferring from the University of Florida.

The Alabama Athlete of the Year award is given to an athlete beyond the high school level who was either born in, is currently playing in, or has previously participated in sports at any level within the state of Alabama.

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.

The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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.

Doctoral Students Arrive on Academy Campus for Comprehensive Final Exam

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Doctoral Students

Six doctoral students at the United States Sports Academy completed their comprehensive final examinations on the Academy’s campus on 5-7 January.

Pictured in the Academy’s Main Lobby are, left to right: Michael Armstrong from Elgin, S.C.; Dr. Kelly E. Flanagan, Chair of Sports Studies; Robert Stinchcomb from Rome, Ga.; Dr. Jordan Moon, Department Head of Sports Health and Fitness; Kathleen Brown from Collinsville, Va.; Dr. Pamela Wojnar, Chair of Sports Management; Jeff Teason from Daphne, Ala.; Ching-Wen Ko from Danshui Township, Taiwan; Dr. Ric Esposito, Chair of Sports Medicine; Kenneth Cofer from Adel, Ga.; Dr. Scott Johnson, Chair of Sports Coaching; Dr. Fred Cromartie, Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Doctoral Studies; and Betsy Smith, Associate Dean of Continuing Education.

Annual Art Show Features Artists, Athletes, and the One Who Fought for the Artists

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Like a War Eagle, Cameron Newton flew into the face of adversity en route to a dominant season for himself and his Auburn teammates, and he will be honored at the United States Sports Academy with a painting from a man who went to battle for his fellow artists.

Rick Rush of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the 2011 American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, painter, will unveil an authorized painting of Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, highlighting an art show at the Academy’s Daphne campus at 5 p.m. Thursday, 6 January.

Rush will be honored along with ASAMA’s two other Sport Artists of the Year – Harry Weber, sculptor and John Rezner, ceramics – at the annual art show honoring the annually-decorated artists.

The illustration of the Auburn quarterback will soon be released as a poster. While Newton, the Academy’s 2010 Alabama Male Athlete of the Year, may have inspired many Auburn fans to bellow out the University’s famous “War Eagle” battle cry, painting Newton is not the biggest feather in Rush’s cap.

The man known as “America’s Sports Artist” will be forever remembered by his contemporaries as the man who went to court and successfully fought for their right to capture the images of those who make history, in sport and otherwise.

Rush won a significant court battle for his right to draw, paint, and sell the images of star athletes when Tiger Woods sued for royalties on a painting Rush made of the golfer when he won the 1997 Master’s golf tournament.

In 2009, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Rush’s favor, finding the paintings to be a form of artistic expression, and the protection of such works under the First Amendment to outweigh whatever interest the state may have in enforcing the right of publicity.

While college football’s most outstanding player for this season will be honored on canvas, professional baseball will also be celebrated through the work of two other honored artists.

Fairhope artist John Rezner, known for his Face Jugs, jugs shaped with an individual’s facial features, will be displaying such ceramic depictions of baseball legends at the show. Rezner has now been commissioned to make face jugs of 10 famous baseball players for the Academy’s “Mr. Baseball” campaign, a world-wide online vote to name a new baseball statue that is to be erected in front of the Academy next year. The Mr. Baseball statue will be created by another Fairhope artist, Bruce Larsen, whose well-known scrap metal statues of sports figures already decorate the outside lawn of the Academy’s campus.

Harry Weber is also one to artistically celebrate the national pastime. The 36 most noted works he has displayed at major venues within the last 10 years include 10 statues displayed at the St. Louis Cardinals’ newest version of the Busch Stadium. The statues are of legendary Cardinals players, including Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith.

A statue of Hall of Fame outfielder and noted base stealer Lou Brock will be unveiled at the field that bears his name at Lindenwood University in the future. Weber donated a maquette of that statue to ASAMA, and it will be displayed at the art show.

The Missouri artist and decorated Vietnam veteran also donated to the Academy a series of sketches depicting scenes from World War II, The Korean War, Desert Storm, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan in an exhibit entitled “A Warrior’s Sketchbook.” The sketches were 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. He also presented the Academy with a bronze statue of a soldier holding up an American flag, entitled “Wounded Warrior.”

While baseball is a common interest that binds Rezner and Weber, Kung Fu is a common bond between Rezner and Rush.

In 2006, Rezner presented a Face Jug of the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple, leader of millions of Shaolin Buddhists. He presented the jug to the Abbot when he was in Daphne receiving an honorary doctorate. The jug is now on display in China.

“I presented (the jug) as a symbol of our two cultures merging,” Rezner said.

The Abbot has been leading a world-wide revival of Kung Fu, the mother of all martial arts, and that will be a subject of a book soon to be published by the Academy. The book will feature illustrations of Shaolin Kung Fu that were donated to the Academy by Rush.

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.

The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient Bud Greenspan Dies

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Olympic documentary filmmaker Bud Greenspan has died of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 84, it was reported today.

His companion, Nancy Beffa, said the cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease, the New York Times reported.

Known for his uplifting films on athletes who participated in the Winter and Summer Olympics, Greenspan also made documentaries about baseball and boxing greats.

“I don’t do controversy well,” he once said.

“I wouldn’t know how to handle it.

“I’m thankful I’m not involved in the bureaucratic commercial side of the Olympics.”

He also branched out and made documentaries about the baseball player Larry Doby and boxing greats, as well as a made-for-TV movie about the Olympic sprinter Wilma Rudolph.

In his early 20s, Greenspan was the sports director of WMGM Radio in New York and was a part of the Metropolitan Opera chorus.

He eventually shifted his focus to the Olympics, with works like “Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin” and a 22-part series, “The Olympiad,” that led to assignments to make the official films of numerous Olympics.

Greenspan received the Olympic Order award in 1985, at which time International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch said: “Mr. Greenspan has been called the foremost producer, writer and director of Olympic films; more than that, he is an everlasting friend of the Olympic family.”

In 2004, Greenspan was inducted as a “Special Contributor” into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.

His visual and musical The Spirit of the Olympics is on display permanently at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee, led the tributes to Greenspan.

“For more than six decades, Bud Greenspan has connected the Olympic Movement to everyday people in ways the founders of the Games couldn’t have imagined. Through his films, we came to truly know the Olympic athlete and unique spirit that lives in each competitor.

“On behalf of the US Olympic family, I’d like to express my condolences to Bud’s partner, Nancy Beffa, and to the inestimable number of people the world over who called Bud their friend,” he said.

“While the entire Olympic Movement mourns the loss of a giant today, his stories will continue to live on, carrying his passion for the Olympic Movement for years and years to come.”

Originally posted at insidethegames.biz. Copied by permission.

Business Award to be Presented to Chinese Entrepreneur During Daphne Visit

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Jack Guo

A prestigious international business award will be presented to one of China’s most powerful sports business leaders during his visit to Daphne Thursday night.

Peter Tichansky, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), will be presenting the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Award for Sport to Guo Jie, President of Worldteam Sports, at the home of United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich.

Jie is in Daphne to receive an honorary doctorate from the Academy, which will be presented to him on the Academy’s Daphne campus the following afternoon.

The BCIU is a leading business association established by President Eisenhower in 1955. This award has been presented to international business leaders for more than 25 years.

“Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Awards recipients represent the finest in entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership on the world’s stage and embody the pioneering view of commercial diplomacy established by BCIU founder President Eisenhower,” Tichansky said.

Jie has been a key player in the business and politics of sport in China in recent years.

He is the inventor of Nine-Star sports shoes, the first sports sponsor of the 11th Asian Games. He helped purchase the first Chinese-owned Formula One racing team, and is a major partner of the NBA operations in China. He could also be called China’s version of Nike founder Phil Knight, because of his chain of sporting goods stores, SportsCube, that has made him a major player in the sporting goods and sports sponsorship industry in the world’s most populous nation.

For 10 years Guo successfully promoted and marketed the growth of Red Bull in Asia, and guided Worldteam to the first strategic cooperation agreement with the NBA in China. He also planned and organized the first Chinese yacht sailing that went around the world. He was involved in the agreement to hold the Italian Super Cup preseason soccer matches in China. The first such match, in 2009, drew nearly 90,000 spectators.

Along with being CEO of Worldteam, he serves as the senior manager of projects and international affairs in the Chinese sports industry, and Vice Chairman of the Tourism Association for the Fujian Province. He also serves on the board of directors for the Fujian National Tourism Group.

Worldteam Sports, formally titled China Worldteam Investment Holdings Group Limited, is an international sports investment management group, professionally investing in China and international sports and cultural markets. Worldteam serves global business partners in the areas of sports projects investment, management, sports facilities, and properties management, and in exploration and development in sports markets, sports marketing, etc. Its main focus is sports commerce, media, real estate, and culture.

Spain Reigns as Villa Edges Nadal on the Male Side; Korean Ices Female Side in Athlete of the Year

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David Villa
Kim Yu-Na
Ashton Eaton
Kim Clijsters
Lauren Jackson
Cristie Kerr
Phil Mickelson
Rafael Nadal
Manny Paquiao
David Rudisha
Serena Williams
Shaun White

David Villa

Five soccer goals and 200 skating points earned David Villa of Spain and Kim Yu-Na of South Korea the honor of being named the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

The two champions were selected through a worldwide ballot that saw the public cast hundreds of thousands of votes thanks to distribution through the websites of NBC Sports and USA Today.

Villa’s five goals helped lead his country to its first FIFA World Cup title. He took 32 shots on goal and scored the winning goals in the first and second round of the playoffs. Villa scored both goals in a critical 2-0 win over Honduras.

Villa edged out countryman Rafael Nadal, the world’s No. 1 tennis player, who won his fifth French Open, second Wimbledon, and first U.S. Open in 2010. Having won the Australian Open in 2009, the 24-year-old became the youngest to win a career Grand Slam.

While Nadal dominated his sport, Yu-Na dominated hers. The world’s No. 1 figure skater won the ladies’ singles gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and is the first female skater to surpass the 200-point mark under the International Skating Union judging system. She also dominated the voting on the Female Athlete of the Year ballot.

The top names in women’s tennis took the second and third spots on the female ballot. Kim Clijsters of Belgium finished second after winning her second consecutive and third career U.S. Open title. She was named WTA and Laureus World Comeback Player of the Year one year after coming out of a two-year retirement. American Serena Williams placed third after she won her fifth career Australian Open and fourth Wimbledon for a total of 13 career Grand Slam titles.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, the Academy’s 2009 Male Athlete of the Year, placed third after becoming the first boxer in history to win 10 world championship belts in eight weight classes.

Finishing fourth on the male side was American college track star Ashton Eaton, who set the world record in the heptathlon, won two NCAA indoor titles in the heptathlon, and won three outdoor titles in the decathlon.

Australian basketball pro Lauren Jackson placed fourth on the female side. Seattle’s forward/center was the WNBA MVP and Finals MVP as the Storm defeated the Atlanta Dream for its second championship.

Master’s golf champion Phil Mickelson of the United States and Kenyan track star David Rudisha, who broke the 800-meter world record twice in 2010, finished fifth and sixth on the male ballot.

Three-time overall World Cup ski champion Lindsey Vonn, who won a gold and a bronze in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and University of Connecticut forward Maya Moore, a consensus All-American for the team that holds the longest winning streak in the history of college basketball, finished fifth and sixth on the female ballot.

The Academy’s international reach has always been strong, and that was reflected in the final vote results. Each of the top three finishers on the men’s and women’s sides hailed from countries other than the United States.

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

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