Courtesy: United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and NBC Olympics will co-host the 2019 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, at Universal Studios on Tuesday, November 19, bringing together summer and winter Team USA athletes, sponsors, donors and guests to celebrate the past, present and future of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements. The event recognizes the most outstanding U.S. performances throughout the past year and will be broadcast on Dec. 22, 2019, from 2-3 p.m. ET on NBC. The Team USA Awards have shone a light on the inspiring performances of U.S. athletes for nearly 50 years and invite fans to join the conversation by voting for their favorites online.
Sure to be one of the most moving moments of the night, the Team USA two-man and four-man bobsled teams from the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 will receive their Olympic silver medals and be honored in special medal reallocation ceremonies. Attending will be athletes Chris Fogt (four-man), Steve Langton (two-man and four-man) and Curt Tomasevicz (four-man). Pilot Steven Holcomb (two-man and four-man), who passed away unexpectedly in May 2017, will be represented by his mother, Jean Schaefer, his father, Steve Holcomb Sr., and his sisters, Megan Holcomb and Stephanie Peterson.
“We are happy that we now can celebrate and be proud of the silver medal accomplishments, and we are looking forward to experiencing this special ceremony and tribute among our friends, families and fellow athletes at the Team USA Awards,” Fogt, Langton and Tomasevicz said in a joint statement. “As a team, it means a lot to have our efforts, sacrifice and hard work appropriately vindicated. That being said, this is a win not just for Team Holcomb but for all athletes who continue to do the right thing.”
The Team USA Awards, hosted by Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs, will honor the athletes and teams of the year. The list of finalists will be announced on Oct. 14, and online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards will be open Oct. 14-28. The categories include:
- Female Olympic and Paralympic Athletes of the Year
- Male Olympic and Paralympic Athletes of the Year
- Olympic and Paralympic Teams of the Year, presented by Dow
“The Team USA Awards are such an important and beloved event within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements, because they celebrate the inspiring journeys and incredible feats of our athletes year in and year out,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said. “This year’s event will take on an even deeper significance as we pay tribute to Chris, Steven, Curt and Steve, and honor their rightful place in history. We are thrilled to host this event alongside NBC Olympics and Dow, two great partners in celebrating the achievements of Team USA athletes.”
“As we head towards Tokyo 2020, the Team USA Awards allow us to pause and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of the Team USA athletes from this past year,” said Jenny Storms, CMO and EVP, Content Strategy. “It’s always our great privilege to televise the awards, but this year we’re even more invested by working with our partners at Universal Studios to host them. It certainly promises to be a memorable evening, punctuated by the can’t-miss medal reallocation ceremonies.”
The ceremony will also recognize three additional awards, which are selected by internal USOPC committees:
Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award: Recognizes an individual(s) who has served as a powerful force for good in society, inspiring others by contributing to a better world, uniting people or leading a cause.
Coaches of the Year awards: Honors one Olympic and one Paralympic coach based on their achievements from the previous year.
Athletes and teams considered for 2019 Best of the Year were finalists for Best of the Month honors dating back to the fall of 2018 and coinciding with the sport calendar. A USOPC committee selects the top-five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round. The online fan vote accounts for 50 percent of the final tally, while members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – account for the other 50 percent.
The 2018 Best of the Games honored the most outstanding U.S. performances from the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Winners were Chloe Kim and Shaun White (snowboarding), Oksana Masters and Dan Cnossen (Para Nordic skiing), the women’s ice hockey team and the sled hockey team. The 2017 Best of the Year winners were Katie Ledecky (swimming), Kyle Snyder (wrestling), Tatyana McFadden and Mikey Brannigan (Para track and field), the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team, and the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.
At the 2019 Team USA Awards, guests will receive a red-carpet welcome at Universal Studios, which will be open to the media from 4:30-5:45 p.m. The Team USA Awards will take place from 6:00-7:15 p.m. at a sound stage on the Universal Studios production lot in Universal City, Calif.
The Team USA Awards will also include a private after-party hosted exclusively for guests of the event within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood.