Known as the “Oscar” of sports awards and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.
Olympic gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are among the 12 amateur athletes chosen as semifinalists for the 79th Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Award it was announced today.
The other ten semifinalists are: Olympic silver medal gymnast Jonathan Horton; the U.S. Olympic men’s 4x100m free relay team, swimming; Cynthia Barboza of Stanford University, volleyball; Amanda Blumenherst of Duke University, golf; Sam Bradford of the University of Oklahoma, football; Tyler Hansbrough of the University of North Carolina, basketball; the Lopez Family of Sugar Land, Texas, taekwondo; Erin Popovich of Silverbow, Mont., Paralympic swimming; Gerald “Buster” Posey of Florida State University, baseball; and Dara Torres of Parkland, Fla., swimming.
Fans may vote online at www.usatoday.com, and voting information will be announced soon. The winner will be announced on April 15 at the New York Athletic Club. Good luck, all!
Past Female Winners include:
Joan Benoit Samuelson (1985) Track & Field
Bonnie Blair (1992) Skating
Tracy Caulkins (1978) Swimming
Mary Decker (1982) Track & Field
Janet Evans (1989) Swimming
Chamique Holdsclaw (1998) Basketball
Sarah Hughes (2002) Figure Skating
Florence Griffin Joyner (1988) Track & Field
Jackie Joyner Kersee (1986) Track & Field
Michelle Kwan (2001) Figure Skating
Jessica Long (2006) Swimming
Patricia McCormick (1956) Diving
Debbie Meyer (1968) Swimming
Kelly & Coco Miller (1999) Basketball
Wilma Rudolph (1961) Track & Field