COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 17. AMONG various other awards selected by the United States Olympic Committee in 2007, Katie Hoff picked up the USOC SportsWoman of the Year award. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps picked up an Outstanding Performance Award.
"As Team USA enters its final preparations for the Olympic Games in Beijing, we have seen outstanding achievements from many of our athletes this past year. And these individuals have truly demonstrated the strength and character of our athletes who will represent the United States in China," said USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr. "We are proud to announce this year's recipients of SportsMan, SportsWoman, Paralympian, and Team of the Year."
Katie Hoff was named SportsWoman of the Year in 2005 and has had another big year in 2007, including a triple-gold showing at the 2007 World Championships and a solid performance at the 2007 ConocoPhillips National Championships. In all, she earned a total of 11 medals in 2007, eight of them gold. She kicked off her appearance at Worlds in March with her first individual world record and a gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley. She also anchored the world record-setting 800-meter free relay team in Melbourne and collected her third gold in the 200-meter individual medley. In July, Hoff added three national titles to her list of 2007 accomplishments. She now holds nine career national titles.
The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually since 1974 to the top overall male and female athlete from within the USOC member organizations. The team award was added in 1996 and the Paralympian of the Year was awarded for the first time in 2004. Winners are selected from the individual female and male athlete of the year and team of the year nominations of the USOC and National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Pan American, Affiliated and Disabled Sports Organizations within the U.S. Olympic Movement.
In addition to the SportsMan, SportsWoman, Paralympian and Team of the Year Awards, the USOC is recognizing for the first time one male and one female athlete as recipients of the Outstanding Performance of the Year award. This new honor was created to recognize an outstanding athletic performance at a single event, which could have occurred on a particular day or over a period of several days.
The recipients of the Outstanding Performance of the Year award were selected by the USOC's Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Sport Performance and Chief Communications Officer after a review of all of the significant performances during the past year. For 2007, the USOC leaders selected swimming athlete Michael Phelps as the male recipient and track and field athlete Allyson Felix as the female honoree for their world championships accomplishments.
At the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Phelps competed in seven events where he won gold in all. He was a part of the 400m free relay and 800m free gold medal-winning relay teams and was crowned champion of the 200m free, 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m IM and 400m IM individual events. Phelps outstanding performance at the World Championships included setting four individual world records and one team world record. As a result of his performance, Phelps became the winningest athlete in World Championship's history.
"There were so many U.S. athletes who could have been honored for their performances in 2007, but when considering what was done by these two athletes at their respective world championships, this particular recognition is certainly warranted," said Roush.
Meanwhile, several other awardwinners were announced with wins coming from sprinter Tyson Gay (SportsMan), track and field athlete Jessica Galli (Paralympian) and the U.S. Women's World Championships Gymnastics Team (Team of the Year).
Special thanks to the USOC for contributing this report.