By ITU Admin on 14/06/06 at 12:00 am
Triathlete Hunter Kemper has been voted the 2005 United States Olympic Committee SportsMan of the Year, becoming the first male or female triathlete to be selected as the SportsMan or SportsWoman of the Year in the 32-year history of the award.
Its a tremendous honor to receive the male athlete of the year from the USOC, said Kemper, who was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe All-Around Award earlier this year. Its quite humbling, especially when you look at past winners. Its a whos who. The company I am now placed in is tremendous. Its kind of overwhelming to comprehend. It means a lot. I cant stop smiling.
A two-time Olympian, three-time International Triathlon Union World Cup winner and five-time U.S. pro champion, Kemper (Longwood, Fla.) is the first U.S. male to finish the season No. 1 in the world. He secured the No. 1 world ranking with a fourth place finish at the New Plymouth World Cup in New Zealand in November. Along the way he reached the podium in 10 out of 13 international races, including five first-place finishes, and five out of seven times in World Cup races. He also won the U.S. Elite National Championship. In September, he won in a sprint finish at the Beijing World Cup on the 2008 Olympic course.
This is a terrific honor for Hunter and absolutely representative of the hard work and dedication that he pours into his profession, said USA Triathlon Executive Director Skip Gilbert. Everyone associated with USA Triathlon should be proud of his accomplishment and the positive impact his success will have on our sport and this organization.
The USOC also named swimmer Katie Hoff, the men’s badminton doubles team of Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach and Paralympic alpine skier Laurie Stephens the SportsWoman, Team of the Year and the Paralympian of the Year, respectively.
The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually since 1974 to the top overall male and female athlete from within the USOC member organizations. The team award was added in 1996 and the Paralympian of the Year was awarded for the first time in 2004. Winners are selected from the individual female and male Athlete of the Year and Team 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.
Audio clips from the USOC teleconference and a link to the USOC Athlete Spotlight on Hunter Kemper are available online at: