Evan Lysacek wins Sullivan Award

Updated: March 15, 2011, 10:41 AM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Olympic champion Evan Lysacek won the 2010 Sullivan Award, becoming the fourth figure skater to be honored as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

[+] EnlargeEvan Lysacek
Richard Mackson/US PresswireEvan Lysacek performs during the figure skating exhibition gala in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Lysacek also won the USOC Sportsman of the Year award earlier this year after winning gold at the Vancouver games last year.

He is the first Olympian since gymnast Shawn Johnson in 2009 to win the Sullivan Award, presented by the Amateur Athletic Union, and the first skater since Olympian Sarah Hughes in 2002.

"It's humbling to see my name amongst those on the impressive list of past Sullivan Award winners, especially Sarah Hughes who has always inspired me in my own skating," said Lysacek, who is from Naperville, Ill. "I'm honored to receive this distinction and would like to thank the AAU for selecting me for this award."

The other figure skaters to win the award were Dick Button in 1949 and Michelle Kwan in 2001.

"Evan is an outstanding ambassador for the United States and the Olympic Movement worldwide," said Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the USOC. "In Vancouver, he demonstrated courage, determination, and sheer athletic talent to win the United States' first gold medal in men's figure skating since 1988. But even more inspiring was Evan's conduct off of the ice.

"On behalf of the U.S. Olympic family, congratulations, Evan, and thank you for being such an outstanding role model."

The other finalists for this year's Sullivan Award were water skier Regina Jacquess, University of Nevada basketball player Tahnee Robinson, University of Arkansas football player DJ Williams and baton twirler Karrissa Wimberley from the University of Georgia.

The Sullivan Award has been handed out since 1930 to the most outstanding U.S. amateur athlete of the year based on athletic accomplishments, leadership skills, character and sportsmanship.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press