USA Water Polo Coach Adam Krikorian Receives USOC's Jack Kelly Award

 Four award winners announced for 

2013 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly Awards Gala

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  The United States Olympic Committee today announced the recipients of four annual awards, which will be presented at a celebratory dinner during the 2013 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly that will take place Oct. 10-11 at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. The awards gala will conclude the Assembly on the evening of Oct. 11, and feature former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the keynote speaker and Rowdy Gaines, NBC sportscaster and three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, as host.

Evie Dennis was named the recipient of the Olympic Torch Award, while Adam Krikorian was selected as the recipient of the Jack Kelly Fair Play Award presented by BP, and Tamika Catchings and Lakeshore Foundation were chosen as the Rings of Gold awards honorees.

The Olympic Torch Award recognizes an individual who has positively impacted the Olympic Movement and has contributed to promoting the Olympic Ideals throughout the U.S. Dr. Evie Dennis has distinguished herself through a lifetime of achievement in the areas of education, amateur athletics and the Olympic Movement. In her four decades of service with the USOC and USA Track & Field, Dennis chaired committees for women and diversity, and also served as a member of the USOC executive committee and National Governing Bodies Council. A recipient of the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious Olympic Order, she became the first African-American female to serve as USOC vice president (1981-88) and chef de mission (1983, 1988, 1991). Additionally, she served as second vice president for the Amateur Athletic Union and delegate to the International Association of Athletics Federations. 

The Jack Kelly Fair Play Award presented by BP recognizes an athlete, coach or official for an outstanding act of fair play and sportsmanship. Before leading the U.S. women’s water polo team to the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Krikorian called an ill-fated time out during the semifinal match against Australia, which nearly cost the U.S. a place in the gold-medal game. In a situation that may have derailed a lesser team and a lesser coach, Krikorian demonstrated composure and accountability, crediting his players for showing resolve and making the best of a difficult situation. The U.S. went on to defeat Australia in overtime and advance to the gold-medal game, where it gilded Krikorian’s mistake and etched its name in Olympic history.

The Rings of Gold awards annually recognize an individual and program dedicated to helping children develop their Olympic or Paralympic dreams and reach their highest athletic and personal potential. Catchings, the individual recipient, embodies the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship through her Catch the Stars foundation, which aims to empower at-risk youth by providing goal-setting programs that promote literacy, fitness and mentorship. The three-time Olympic gold medalist has led the Indianapolis-based foundation in promoting health, education and civic responsibility through reading programs, basketball camps and fitness clinics, exemplifying what it means to be a role model both on and off the court. 

On the program side, Lakeshore Foundation is one of the foremost leaders in promoting adaptive sports and recreation to children with physical disabilities. A U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site since 2003, Lakeshore promotes the Paralympic ideals of courage, determination and equality by educating and inspiring the next generation of athletes. Since 1984, the Alabama-based organization has helped advance the positive, long-term impact of fitness, assisting participants of all ages discover their potential. Through grassroots programs such as JAWS (Junior Amputee and Wheelchair Sports) and SEC (Sports Education Camp), Lakeshore effectively addresses common barriers to physical activity and establishes healthy behaviors that impact lives off the field of play.

For more information on the 2013 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly,

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly was initiated in 2005 to give a voice to the various member organizations of the USOC; to keep dialogue open between members, staff and volunteer leadership; and to help further the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the U.S. This year’s assembly – themed “Power Of Sport” – welcomes more than 400 participants representing Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American National Governing Bodies; U.S. Olympians and Paralympians; Multi-Sport Organizations; the Athletes Advisory Council; the Paralympic Advisory Committee; USOC board members and staff; and government representatives involved in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.