The United States Sports Academy’s 28th annual Awards of Sport celebration honors several athletes, coaches and administrators who participated in the 2012 London Olympics.
Among the now household names from the London Games being recognized by the Academy are Sebastian Coe (Eagle Award), the chairman of the 2012 London Olympic Organizing Committee; Bob Costas (Ronald Reagan Media Award), the host of a record ninth Olympic prime-time television broadcast for NBC Sports; Ashton Eaton (Jim Thorpe All-Around Athlete Award), the decathlon gold medalist; Mike Krzyzewski (Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award), the Duke University head basketball coach who guided the USA Olympic men’s basketball team to gold; and U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder (Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award), a blind American swimmer and two-time gold medalist in the Paralympics.
The Academy’s Awards of Sport event annually pays tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport and follows the theme “The Artist & the Athlete.” The awards show, which marks the university’s 40 years of excellence in sport education, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus located at One Academy Drive.
In addition to Olympic participants, this year’s Awards of Sport also honors the 40th anniversary of the landmark Title IX legislation that ushered in a new era of gender equity in college athletics by awarding several women pioneers in the sport world. (Click here to see a complete list of the Academy’s 2012 Awards of Sport honorees.)
Sebastian Coe was the face of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games as the chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, earning him the Academy’s 2012 Eagle Award. Coe has a longtime commitment to the Olympic Movement and oversaw what is widely heralded as one of the best staged Olympic Games in recent history. Coe competed as a middle distance runner for Great Britain and is considered among the nation’s top Olympians, winning four Olympic medals at the Games in 1980 and 1984.
The Eagle Award is the Academy’s highest international honor and annually goes 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.
RONALD REAGAN MEDIA AWARD
Bob Costas has been the primetime television host of a record nine Olympic Games, earning the Academy’s Ronald Reagan Media Award named in honor of the 40th President of the United States. Costas, who joined NBC Sports in 1980 and has the longest tenure of any of the network’s sports announcers, presided over the most watched TV event ever in the United States with more than 219.4 million American viewers tuning in during the 17-day event.
The Ronald Reagan Media Award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to sport through broadcasting, print, photography or acting. The individual, like this year’s award winner, should exhibit imagination, excitement and genius in kindling a keen public interest and appreciation for the role of sport in modern society.
JIM THORPE ALL-AROUND ATHLETE AWARD
Ashton Eaton, the Olympic decathlon gold medalist and world record holder, earned the 2012 Jim Thorpe All-Around Award from the United States Sports Academy for his accomplishments in an event long recognized for producing the world’s greatest athlete. The 24-year-old Eaton is the latest American to earn the crown in the storied two-day, 10-event competition with his dominating victory at the 2012 London Olympics where he scored a total of 8,869 points—198 more than the nearest competitor.
At the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, Eaton became the reigning world-record holder by finishing the decathlon with 9,039 points to beat Roman Sebrle’s 11-year-old mark by 13 points and join Sebrle as the only other decathlete to break the 9,000-point barrier.
The Academy’s Jim Thorpe All-Around Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in multiple sports and/or multiple events of the same sport. This individual should exhibit the qualities of versatility, strength, speed, flexibility, conditioning and training that exemplify superior athletic prowess. Jim Thorpe was an American Indian who became a legend for his athletic prowess at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm where he won both the pentathlon and decathlon events.
AMOS ALONZO STAGG COACHING AWARD
Mike Krzyzewski has led the United States men’s basketball team made up of some of the top American professional basketball players in the NBA since 2005, winning gold medals at the 2012 London and 2008 Bejing Olympic Games. Under Krzyzewski, who heads Duke University’s men’s basketball team, the United States lost just one of 63 games in international play.
The Academy’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award is presented each year to an individual who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach for male teams. This person should exhibit a high standard of propriety, imagination, and innovation as a character-builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches. Amos Alonzo Stagg’s exemplary career is immortally enshrined not only for his all-time victory record of 314-199-35, but for his long-standing dedication to his life’s work as coach and teacher.
JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH IOC DISABLED ATHLETE AWARD
U.S. Navy Lt. Bradley Snyder, who despite losing his eyesight a year ago when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan won gold medals in the 100- and 400-meter freestyle and silver in the 50 at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. The 28-year-old Snyder also holds several world records in swimming for blind athletes. Because of his 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.
The Academy’s Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC 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.
For more background on the Academy’s Awards of Sport and a list of past winners, click here.
Please, join us for the Awards of Sport celebration at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the United States Sports Academy, located at One Academy Drive in Daphne, Ala. Wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. RSVP today by calling (251) 626-3303 or by emailing email@example.com.