NEW YORK CITY, March 20, 2012 – 2011 World all-around champion Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts’ Twistars USA, was one of six finalists for the 2011 James E. Sullivan Award, the Amateur Athletic Union award that honors the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete. Andrew Rodriquez, who plays football for the U.S. Military Academy, was named the 2011 winner at an awards ceremony at the New York Athletic Club.
In addition to Wieber, the other finalists for the AAU’s 2011 James E. Sullivan Award were: Jillian Camarena-Williams, track and field; Alex Jupiter, volleyball; Jason Read, rowing; and Katherine Reutter, speed skating. The Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 and is based on character, leadership and sportsmanship.
Notable recipients of the AAU Sullivan Award include gymnasts Kurt Thomas (1979), Paul Hamm (2004) and Shawn Johnson (2008), as well as Mark Spitz, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence Joyner, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, J.J. Redick, and Tim Tebow. The finalists were selected from personal nominations following a review by the AAU Sullivan Award Executive Committee. The winner was determined through voting by select members of the media, previous winners and AAU staff. The public was also allowed input through nationwide polling on the USA Today website.
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sport.