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Musselman Named a Finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award

Oct 21, 2021
Maddie Musselman is one of five finalists for the 91st AAU James E. Sullivan Award presented by Eastbay.

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has announced the five finalists for the 91st AAU James E. Sullivan Award presented by Eastbay and UCLA's Maddie Musselman is one of the nominees for the title of "top athlete."

Representatives from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) created the Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize contributions and achievements from athletes across the country. the AAU James E. Sullivan Award presented by Eastbay. The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding athlete in the United States.

Musselman, a two-time Olympic Games gold medalist and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Women's Water Polo MVP joins the other four finalists in competition for the title. Those athletes are Athing Mu, USA Track and Field/Texas A&M; Caeleb Dressel, USA Swimming; Kevin Kopps, Baseball, University of Arkansas; and Simone Biles, USA Gymnastics.

"I am proud to have such remarkable athletes representing finalists for this year's AAU James E. Sullivan Award," said Jennings "Rusty" Buchanan, President and CEO of the AAU. "It is truly an honor to announce this year's finalists, a class unlike any other. The AAU is the largest multi-sport organization in the world, so we are delighted to provide an inclusive platform which allows all sports to compete for the title of the top athlete in America."

The winner will be announced at the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Ceremony on Friday, October 22 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida, with a special recognition for all finalists during the halftime of Orlando Magic's home opener against the New York Knicks. This year's event will be hosted by 1981 AAU Sullivan Award winner Carl Lewis.
Last year, the AAU crowned co-winners Sabrina Ionescu, University of Oregon, and Spencer Lee, University of Iowa. Ionescu became the seventh basketball player to take home the award, while Lee became the fifth wrestler to be named the top athlete. The pair are the third duo to win, following the footsteps of the 86th recipients, former Navy quarterback, Keenan Reynolds and former University of Connecticut forward, Breanna Stewart in 2015 and the basketball twins Kelly and Coco Miller in 1999.
Ionescu and Lee joined a world renowned list of Sullivan Award recipients, including famed Olympians Michelle Kwan (2001), Michael Phelps (2003), Shawn Johnson (2008), Peyton Manning (1997), and Missy Franklin (2012).