U.S. Para Four is Finalist for Team USA Best of the Year Honors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced that the U.S. PR3 mixed coxed four is one of the 26 finalists for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes year-round.

Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through midnight Monday, Oct. 30. 

Earlier this month, the crew earned Best of September honors for its standout performance at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. With four out of five team members returning from its silver-medal-winning performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, the team was a boat to watch — and it did not disappoint, finishing second behind Great Britain to earn the team’s fourth straight silver at a world championships or Paralympic Games competition. The team was led by coxswain Jenny Sichel and included fellow Paralympians Jaclyn Smith, Zachary Burns and Danielle Hansen, along with newcomer Mike Varro.

The two other nominees in the Paralympic Team of the Year category include the U.S. Para-cycling team and the U.S. sled hockey team.

The Team USA Awards honor athletes and teams of the year in six categories:

  • Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
  • Male Olympic Athlete of the Year
  • Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
  • Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year
  • Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year
  • Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow

Athletes and teams considered for Best of the Year were finalists for Best of the Month honors, dating back to the fall of 2016 and coinciding with the sport calendar. A USOC nominating committee then selected the top-five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round.

Online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards 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 six award winners will be announced during the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, to be held Nov. 29 at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. NBC will provide coverage of the awards show from 3-4 p.m. ET on Dec. 23. 

The year-end celebration will also recognize the Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award – which recognizes an individual 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 – and the Building Dreams Award, presented by USG – which honors an individual, group or community that has gone above and beyond in its support of Team USA.

Additionally, the awards gala will recognize national Olympic and Paralympic coaches of the year. National Governing Bodies select their nominees as part of the USOC’s annual Coach of the Year Recognition Program, and winners are determined by a USOC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals. 

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by associate sponsors DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG. 

The USOC also worked with Deloitte to redesign an enhanced voting platform at TeamUSA.org/Awards for more fan engagement than ever before. Deloitte revamped the existing website, adding a clean mobile platform, real-time rankings, and increased opportunities for year-round engagement, even during non-Olympic and Paralympic Games years.

Find out more about the 2017 Best of the Year finalists at TeamUSA.org/Awards.

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