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Gwen Jorgensen Finalist For U.S. Olympic Athlete Of The Year

Triathletes Gwen Jorgensen and Hailey Danisewicz are 2014-15 finalists for Team USA Awards.

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The United States Olympic Committee today announced triathletes Gwen Jorgensen and Hailey Danisewicz as 2014-15 finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes year-round.

Read the announcement from USA Triathlon below:

Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Teamusa.org/awards through Friday, Nov. 20. The Team USA Awards honor the athletes and teams of the year in six categories:
Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Male Olympic Athlete of the Year
Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year
Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow

Gwen Jorgensen

Jorgensen clinched her second straight world championship title by securing the No. 1 ranking (5,200 points) at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago. The only U.S. woman to win back-to-back world titles in triathlon, Jorgensen outdistanced the field by more than 29 seconds and topped the season rankings by 1,119 points. With her win in Chicago, she extended a winning streak that began in May 2014, and she owns an unprecedented 12 consecutive wins on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit and is the first triathleteman or womanto complete an undefeated season. In 2014, Jorgensen capped a record-breaking season as the only woman in ITU World Triathlon Series history to win eight career series events and five in one season, posting the fastest run split of the field in every 2014 WTS event in which she competed.

Jorgensen also qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team with a win at the Rio de Janeiro 2015 ITU World Olympic Qualification Event in August 2015.

“I am so honored to be nominated for the Team USA Awards Best of 2014-15, along with a large contingent of talented athletes from different sports,” Jorgensen said. “Being nominated for this award can also be accredited to the team around me as much as my efforts in training and racing. My coach, husband, training partners and sponsors are also putting in the long hours to help me show up on race day prepared.”

RELATED PHOTOS: Gwen Jorgensen Wins WTS Chicago

Hailey Danisewicz

Danisewicz is a finalist for the Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year. She won the 2015 Sunshine Coast ITU World Paratriathlon Event in March in Australia, and was crowned winner of the women’s PT2 sport class at the 2015 Monterrey CAMTRI Triathlon American Championships. Danisewicz also claimed victory at the 2015 Rio de Janeiro ITU World Paratriathlon Event, provisionally qualifying for the first-ever 2016 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team. She became the first U.S. triathlete ever to qualify for the Paralympic Games as paratriathlon makes its debut in Rio next year when the U.S. earned a team spot with a win in the PT2 sport class at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Chicago. Danisewicz finished second in the world championships as part of a Team USA PT2 podium sweep.

“To be a finalist for Best of the Year is an honor that’s hard to put into words. 2015 was a breakthrough year for me, and I grew a lot both athletically and personallythis nomination is simply the icing on the cake,” Danisewicz said. “My four fellow nominees are unequivocally some of the most successful and admirable women in the Paralympic Movement, and to be included among them is a source of true pride.”

Voting

Formerly known as the USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the Year awards, the honors began in 1974. The impressive and diverse collection of past winners from Carl Lewis (track and field) and Bonnie Blair (speedskating) to Michael Phelps (swimming) and Jessica Long (Paralympic swimming)represent nearly 30 sports on the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic programs. Their collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout history. Four-time Olympian Hunter Kemper was named USOC SportsMan of the Year in 2005.

Jorgensen, Danisewicz and other accomplished athletes were considered for the Best of the Year as finalists for Best of the Month honors, dating back to the fall of the previous year and coinciding with the sport calendar. A USOC nominating committee then selected the top-five finalists in the individual categories and top three in the team categories to advance to the voting round.

Online fan voting at teamusa.org/awards accounts for 50 percent of the final tally, while members of the Olympic and Paralympic familyincluding an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalistsaccount for the other 50 percent.

The six award winners will be announced during the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, to be held Dec. 10 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall in Philadelphia. The awards show will be televised on NBCSN on Dec. 27 from 3-4 p.m. ET.

The year-end celebration will also recognize the Building Dreams Award, presented by USG, which honors an individual, group or community that has gone above and beyond in its support of Team USA.

In addition to presenting sponsor Dow, four USOC partnersDICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USGare associate sponsors of the Team USA Awards program.

The 2014-15 Best of the Year finalists include

Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods
Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Adeline Gray, Wrestling
Gwen Jorgensen, Triathlon
Katie Ledecky, Swimming
Serena Williams, Tennis

Male Olympic Athlete of the Year

Jordan Burroughs, Wrestling
Ashton Eaton, Track and Field
Vincent Hancock, Shooting
Ted Ligety, Skiing
Auston Matthews, Ice Hockey

Olympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow
Women’s USA-1, Bobsled
U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, Soccer
Women’s Senior National Team, Water Polo

Female Paralympic Athlete of the Year, presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods

Hailey Danisewicz, Triathlon
Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing, Cycling
Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
Becca Meyers, Swimming
Jamie Whitmore, Cycling

Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year

Joe Berenyi, Cycling
Declan Farmer, Sled Hockey
Mike Shea, Snowboarding
Andy Soule, Nordic Skiing
Roderick Townsend, Track and Field

Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow

W1 Men’s Team, Archery
U.S. National Team, Sled Hockey
U.S. Women’s National Team, Wheelchair Basketball