The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro had many historic moments — Michael Phelps smashing his own record for most decorated Olympian by bringing his medal total to 28, Simone Biles winning four gold medals in gymnastics, and the women’s 4x100 track relay team coming back from near disqualification to win gold.
Now these celebrated athletes have the opportunity to win even more accolades, when the Team USA Best of the Games award winners are announced later this month. The Team USA awards include three Olympic categories — best female athlete, best male athlete and best team.
The nominees for best female athlete include Biles, the first American gymnast to win four gold medals in a single Olympic Games. The other nominated women include triathlete Gwen Jorgensen, who took home the first-ever gold in the event for the U.S.; swimmer Katie Ledecky, who set two world records and won four golds and a silver; wrestler Helen Maroulis, who became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport; and boxer Claressa Shields, who successfully defended her 2012 gold, making her the only American boxer to ever win back-to-back gold medals.
The nominees for best male athlete include Phelps, who won his 23rd gold medal in Rio; gold-medal basketball player Carmelo Anthony; Kyle Snyder, who is the youngest U.S. wrestler to win at the Olympics; Connor Fields, who became the first-ever U.S. champion in BMX just four months after breaking his wrist; and runner Matt Centrowitz, who took home the first gold for the U.S. in the 1,500-meter since 1908.
For best team, the nominees are all women’s teams. The water polo team is up for the honors after defending their Olympic title; the women’s 4x100 relay, which includes Allyson Felix, who is currently tied for the title of most decorated female in the sport; the Final Five, who squashed the competition on the way to defending their all-around team title; women’s rowing eight, who won their third straight gold; and the women’s basketball team, who won their sixth straight Olympic title.
Fans can vote for the winners at TeamUSA.org/Awards. Fan voting will account for 50 percent of the final tally, while the other half comes from the Olympic and Paralympic governing bodies and journalists. Voting closes Friday, September 9, and the awards will be presented on September 28 in Washington, D.C.
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