RIO DE JANEIRO – The Final Five, the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team that won the team title, and Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, are among the Rio 2016 Olympic Games finalists for the United States Olympic Committee’s Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of Games, which recognize the outstanding performances of Team USA athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The Team USA Awards honor the athletes and teams of the Games in six categories:
- Female Athlete of the Olympic Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Male Athlete of the Olympic Games
- Team of the Olympic Games, presented by Dow
- Female Athlete of the Paralympic Games, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Male Athlete of the Paralympic Games, presented by The Hartford
- Team of the Paralympic Games, presented by Dow
A nominating committee selected the 2016 Olympic finalists for the individual athlete and team categories based on nominations from each National Governing Body. The six award winners will be announced during the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Games, to be held in late September in Washington, D.C. The awards show will be televised on NBCSN on Oct. 4 from 10-11 p.m. ET.
For the first time, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team defended its Olympic title in the team competition, scoring 184.897 points, which was more than eight points better than second-place Russia. The U.S. posted the highest score on each of the four apparatuses to secure the dominant victory. The USA now has three Olympic team titles (1996, 2012, 2016). Overall, the U.S. women earned a record nine medals in Rio. The nine medals were: four gold, four silver and one bronze. It’s the most by any women’s gymnastics team since the Soviet Union claimed 10 medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. The record total surpassed the team’s previous high of eight from the 2008 Games in Beijing and 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Other teams, which are also women’s teams, nominated for this honor are: basketball, rowing’s eight, track’s 400-meter relay and water polo.
Biles, who anchored the USA’s successful bid for the team gold, became the first U.S. gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Games and one of only four women to accomplish that feat in Olympic history. Biles won the all-around, vault and floor exercise titles, along with a bronze on the balance beam. She also became the USA’s most decorated gymnast, male or female, with a total of 19 World and Olympic medals (five Olympic, 14 World). Biles is the first reigning World all-around champion to win the coveted Olympic all-around title since 1996. She was also voted to carry the U.S. flag in the closing ceremony by the U.S. athletes competing in Rio. The other female nominees are: Gwen Jorgensen, triathlon; Katie Ledecky, swimming; Helen Maroulis, wrestling; and Claressa Shields, boxing.
The nominees for the best Olympic male athlete are: Carmelo Anthony, basketball; Matthew Centrowitz, track and field; Connor Fields, cycling – BMX; Michael Phelps, swimming; and Kyle Snyder, wrestling.
In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, five USOC sponsors – Coca-Cola, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USG – are associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards program.