Michelle Kwan Wins USOC SportsWoman of the Year
|World gold No. 5|
(3/18/04) — The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today that Michelle Kwan has been voted the 2003 USOC SportsWoman of the Year. This is the first time Kwan has won this honor. She has been awarded the USOC SportsWoman of the Month Award 14 times, most recently in January 2004.
Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. Her accomplishments in 2003 alone included a first-place finish at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships, first at the World Figure Skating Championships, first at the ABC Sports International Challenge, second at the Campbell's Classic and first at the International Figure Skating Challenge.
In her career Kwan has won eight U.S. titles, (including seven straight - the longest winning streak in U.S. ladies history), 11 consecutive U.S. medals, five World titles, two Olympic medals (silver-1998, bronze-2002) and 44 perfect 6.0 marks in major competitions - the most of any skater in history. Kwan's accomplishments continue as she competes in her 11th World Championships March 22-28, 2004, in Dortmund, Germany.
The competitive field for the 2003 SportsWoman of the Year Award included tennis player Serena Williams, speedskater Jennifer Rodriguez, gymnast Chellsie Memmel and hockey's Angela Ruggiero. Kwan was voted the winner by the national media, the USOC Board of Directors and the USOC Athletes' Advisory Council. Winners are selected from the individual female Athlete of the Year nominations of the national governing bodies for the Olympic, Pan American, Affiliated and Disabled Sports Organizations within the U.S. Olympic Movement. Kwan has been the USOC Athlete of the Year for figure skating six times: 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 and 1996.
Kwan's award marks the fifth time a U.S. figure skating athlete has won the award since its inception in 1974, and the second year straight. U.S. Figure Skaters voted USOC SportsWomen or Men of the Year:
- 2003 — Michelle Kwan, eight-time U.S. champion, five-time World champion, two-time Olympic medalist
- 2002 — Sarah Hughes, 2002 Olympic Winter Games gold medalist
- 1997 — Tara Lipinski, 1998 Olympic Winter Games gold medalist
- 1981 — Scott Hamilton, 1984 Olympic Winter Games gold medalist
- 1977 — Linda Fratianne, 1980 Olympic Winter Games silver medalist
Other 2003 winners include cyclist Lance Armstrong, USOC SportsMan of the Year, and the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team, USOC Team of the Year.