Feb. 7. TRIPLE Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg is among the list of 10 finalists released by the Amateur Athletic Association today for the 71st Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award.
Narrowed from a field of over 30 nominees, the 10 first-round finalists will be reduced to five athletes in mid-March. From those five names, the National winner will be formally announced in early April.
The 10 first round finalists are: Shane Battier (basketball), Luke Donald (golf), Lisa Fernandez (softball), Rulon Gardner (wrestling), Josh Heupel
(football), Lenny Krayzelburg (swimming), Stephen Lopez (taekwondo), Tara Nott (weightlifting), Christi Smith (track and field) and Laura Wilkinson (diving).
The award, given to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States, is based on qualities of leader-ship, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of
amateurism. Both athletic accomplishment and strong moral character are considered by a 800 member panel of AAU board of directors, the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors, the AAU Sullivan Committee, past Sullivan Award winners, and select members of the sports media.
Considered the "Oscar" of sports awards, the James E. Sullivan Award has been presented to prominent athletes of our time including last year's recipients Coco and Kelly Miller. Others include: Chamique Holdsclaw (1998),Peyton Manning (1997), William "Bill" Bradley (1965), Dan Jansen (1994), Janet Evans (1989), Jim Abbott (1987), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Greg
Louganis (1984) and the late Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988).