LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Olympic gold medalists Michael
Phelps, Carly Patterson and Paul Hamm, and Heisman Trophy winner
Matt Leinart were among the 10 finalists announced Monday for the
Sullivan Award, given to the nation's top amateur athlete.
Phelps, last year's Sullivan winner, captured six golds and two
bronzes at the Athens Olympics, matching the record for most medals
won at a single games. He was honored as the U.S. Olympic
Committee's Sportsman of the Year last month.
Patterson, of Allen, Texas, was the first U.S. woman to win the
Olympic all-around title since Mary Lou Retton. She also won silver
medals in the team competition and on the balance beam, and was the
USOC's SportsWoman of the Year.
Hamm, the defending world champion, was the first U.S. man to
win the Olympic all-around. Leinart led Southern California to an
undefeated season and its second straight national title.
Another finalist was Baylor track star Jeremy Wariner, from
Grand Prairie, Texas. He won gold in the 400-meter race and
1,600-meter relay event.
Other finalists are: Elisha Au (karate); Natalie Coughlin
(swimming); Steven Lopez (taekwondo); Cael Sanderson (wrestling);
and Andre Ward (boxing). Online voting on the USA Today Web site
will help determine the winner, who will be announced April 13 in
The award is named after James E. Sullivan, the founder of the
Amateur Athletic Union based in Orlando, and has been presented
annually since 1930.