The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced the 2014-15 winners for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognising the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes and teams in six categories:
Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden received the Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year went to cyclist Joe Berenyi. The US national ice sledge hockey team took the Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow.
McFadden remained undefeated in world marathon majors by capturing her third straight grand slam with wins at the London, Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons. Her victory in London marked her first IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships title and came less than a week after her victory in Boston. The 11-time Paralympic medallist set three world records in the women’s 400-, 800- and 1,500m T54 races, and also earned her fifth Paralympic Games berth with a victory at the Chicago Marathon.
Berenyi won three medals – including two golds – at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, winning the men’s C3 3km individual pursuit and time trial race. He also added four medals – including three golds – at the 2015 Parapan American Games and won titles in the time trial and road race in the men’s C3 class at the 2015 US Paralympics Road Cycling Nationals.
The US National Sled Hockey Team went undefeated during the 2014-15 season, highlighted by a 3-0 victory over rival Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, New York. The US outscored its opponents by a combined 29-1 in the tournament and 59-6 on the year, earning eight shutouts in 13 games. The US also won the 2015 World Sled Hockey Challenge for the second time in three years, defeating Russia, 2-1, in overtime.
In total, six awards were presented during a live taping of the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year ceremony, held at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall in Philadelphia. The awards show – which featured NBC’s Natalie Morales as host and retro pop/soul artist Andra Day as the musical guest – will be televised 27 December on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where nearly 200,000 fan votes determined 50 per cent of the final tally. Members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – accounted for the other 50 per cent.