LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL, April 13 – The votes are cast and the numbers are in. Now, finalists Ezekiel Elliott, Jahlil Okafor, Katie Ledecky, Meryl Davis & Charlie White, Shawn Barber and Simone Biles are anxiously waiting for the AAU Sullivan Award winner to be announced at the esteemed New York Athletic Club on Sunday, April 19th.
Select event tickets are available to the public, but for those that aren’t able to attend, a live stream of the event will be available at www.aausports.org/sullivan. The live stream will begin at 2:00pm and will feature the entire ceremony, including speeches from the finalists and special guests and the announcement of the 85th winner of the award.
The finalists are honored to be selected for this award. Here’s what they are saying:
“It's a great honor for me to make it to the finals for the Sullivan Award. This feat in itself feels like quite the accomplishment for me, and I know I couldn't have done it without the efforts and support of the staff at the University of Akron as well as my family, friends, and amazing fans! Go Zips!” – Shawn Barber
"I am so honored to be one of the AAU Sullivan Award Finalists. Thank you to all who voted and supported me, and congratulations to the other finalists." – Simone Biles
“Being a finalist for this year's Sullivan Award is such an honor. Charlie and I take our role in representing the US as Olympians very seriously. It means a lot to us to receive this nomination from the AAU,” said Meryl Davis. Meanwhile, Charlie White added “We have always tried to embody the best of what amateur athletics has to offer, and believe that this mindset played a huge role in our ability to become Olympic Champions.” - Meryl Davis and Charlie White
“It is truly an honor and a blessing to be a finalist for the Sullivan Award and to be considered among the finest amateur athletes in the country. I thank my coaches and teammates for all they have done to help me become the best I can be, and I want to congratulate all the individuals who were considered for this most prestigious award this year.”- Ezekiel Elliott
"I am honored to be recognized by an organization that is synonymous with the high goals and ideals of amateur athleticism in the United States. It is a privilege to be named a Finalist among such an outstanding group of champions,” - Katie Ledecky.
"It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a finalist for the Sullivan Award. There are so many great amateur athletes and it is humbling to be included among the top of that group. I am looking forward to going to New York in April to meet the other finalists as well as all the people associated with the Sullivan Award." – Jahlil Okafor
Now, in its 85th year, the AAU Sullivan Award is one of the most prestigious amateur sports award and is a salute to AAU founder and amateur sports pioneer, James E. Sullivan. Finalists were selected not only based on their athletic accomplishments, but also by their demonstration of premier leadership, character and sportsmanship.
Only one finalist will join the illustrious list of previous winners which include: Bobby Jones (1930), Doc Blanchard (1945), Wilma Rudolph (1961), Bill Bradley (1965), Mark Spitz (1970), Bill Walton (1973), Bruce Jenner (1976), Carl Lewis (1981), Joan Benoit (1985), Janet Evans (1989), Peyton Manning (1997), Michael Phelps (2003), Tim Tebow (2007), Missy Franklin (2012) and dozens of others.
Media interested in attending the award ceremony, interviewing finalists (live or remotely), receiving post-ceremony photos / releases, etc. should contact: Rachel D’Orazio, AAU Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-828-3132.
For more info on the AAU, award and ceremony, including voting, past winners, event details and nominee bios, visit www.aausullivan.org.
Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. The “Sports for All, Forever” philosophy is shared by over 600,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU annually licenses more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. AAU alumni include LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, Diana Taurasi, Madison Bumgarner and Justin Verlander. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the development of amateur sports www.aausports.org.
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