Liukin Named 2008 USOC Co-SportsWoman of the Year

2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, was named the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee’s Co-SportsWoman of the Year with swimmer Natalie Coughlin. Liukin, who earned five medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, is the third individual gymnast to win this award, joining Kim Zmeskal (1991) and Carly Patterson (2004)

“Nastia’s actions both on and off the field of play demonstrate that she is a true champion and a role model for athletes throughout the world,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.  “This recognition of her outstanding accomplishments is well earned as her five medals in Beijing were the most won by any female gymnast. We also congratulate the other athletes and team being awarded with this honor.”  

Swimmer Michael Phelps, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team and Paralympic swimmer Erin Popovich were chosen as the SportsMan, Team and Paralympian of the Year, respectively.  

At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Liukin’s total of five medals tied the gymnastics record for most medals in one Olympic Games, currently held by Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Shannon Miller (1992). Liukin’s medals are: gold – all-around; silver – team, balance beam and uneven bars; and bronze – floor exercise. Liukin is just the third woman to win the Olympic all-around crown. Earlier in 2008, Liukin won the all-around title at both the Tyson American Cup and the Pacific Rim Championships presented by Gillette Venus. She also was named the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2008 Individual Sportswoman of the Year and the United States Sports Academy Female Athlete of the Year. Liukin and her teammates on the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Championships Team were selected as the 2007 U.S. Olympic Committee's Team of the Year. Liukin is coached by her father, Valeri, who has four Olympic medals from 1988, including two gold. She trains at WOGA.  

Former gymnastics winners of USOC annual awards are: SportsWoman – Kim Zmeskal (1991) and Carly Patterson (2004); and Team – U.S. Women’s World Championships Teams (2003 and 2007).

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 USOC and National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Pan American, Affiliated and Disabled Sports Organizations within the U.S. Olympic Movement.

Based in Indianapolis, Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the .  Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport.  Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.  For more information, log on to 


USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman, Paralympian and Team of the Year recipients 


SportsMan of the Year

1974    Jim Bolding, Athletics 

1975    Clinton Jackson , Boxing  

1976    John Naber, Swimming  

1977    Eric Heiden, Speedskating

1978    Bruce Davidson, Equestrian 

1979    Eric Heiden, Speedskating 

1980    Eric Heiden, Speedskating 

1981    Scott Hamilton, Figure Skating  

1982    Greg Louganis, Diving  

1983    Rick McKinney, Archery  

1984    Edwin Moses, Athletics  

1985    Willie Banks, Athletics  

1986    Matt Biondi, Swimming


1987    Greg Louganis, Diving 

1988    Matt Biondi, Swimming  

1989    Roger Kingdom , Athletics  

1990    John Smith, Wrestling  

1991    Carl Lewis, Athletics  

1992    Pablo Morales, Swimming  

1993    Michael Johnson, Athletics  

1994    Dan Jansen, Speedskating  

1995    Michael Johnson, Athletics  

1996    Michael Johnson Athletics  

1997    Pete Sampras, Tennis  

1998    Jonny Moseley, Skiing  

1999    Lance Armstrong, Cycling  

2000    Rulon Gardner, Wrestling  

2001    Lance Armstrong, Cycling  

2002    Lance Armstrong, Cycling  

2003    Lance Armstrong, Cycling  

2004    Michael Phelps, Swimming  

2005    Hunter Kemper, Triathlon  

2006    Joey Cheek, Speedskating  

2007    Tyson Gay, Athletics  

2008    Michael Phelps, Swimming 


SportsWoman of the Year

1974    Shirley Babashoff, Swimming  

1975    Kathy Heddy, Swimming  

1976    Sheila Young, Speedskating  

1977    Linda Fratianne, Figure Skating  

1978    Tracy Caulkins, Swimming  

1979    Cynthia “Sippy” Woodhead, Swimming  

1980    Beth Heiden, Speedskating  

1981    Sheila Young Ochowicz, Cycling/Speedskating 

1982    Melanie Smith, Equestrian  

1983    Tamara McKinney, Skiing  

1984    Tracy Caulkins, Swimming  

1985    Mary Decker Slaney, Athletics  

1986    Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Athletics

1987    Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Athletics 

1988    Florence Griffith Joyner, Athletics  

1989    Janet Evans, Swimming 

1990    Lynn Jennings, Athletics  

1991    Kim Zmeskal, Gymnastics  

1992    Bonnie Blair, Speedskating  

1993    Gail Devers, Athletics  

1994    Bonnie Blair, Speedskating  

1995    Picabo Street, Skiing  

1996    Amy Van Dyken, Swimming  

1997    Tara Lipinski, Figure Skating  

1998    Picabo Street, Skiing  

1999    Jenny Thompson, Swimming  

2000    Marion Jones, Athletics  

2001    Jennifer Capriati, Tennis  

2002    Sarah Hughes, Figure Skating  

2003    Michelle Kwan, Figure Skating  

2004    Carly Patterson, Gymnastics  

2005    Katie Hoff, Swimming  

2006    Hannah Teter, Snowboarding  

2007    Katie Hoff, Swimming

2008    Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics, and Natalie Coughlin, Swimming

Team of the Year

1996    Women’s National/Olympic Basketball Team  

1997    Women’s National Soccer Team  

1998    Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team  

1999    Women’s National Soccer Team  

2000    Baseball Olympic Team  

2001    Postal Service Cycling Team  

2002    Women’s Bobsled Team  

2003    Women’s Gymnastics Team  

2004    Olympic Softball Team  

2005    Men’s Badminton Doubles Team  

2006    U.S. Men’s Curling Team  

2007    U.S. Women’s World Championships Gymnastics Team  

2008    U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team

Paralympian of the Year  

2004    Erin Popovich, Swimming  

2005    Laurie Stephens, Alpine Skier  

2006    Jessica Long, Swimming  

2007    Jessica Galli, Track and Field  

2008    Erin Popovich

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