FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 17, 2012
Paralympic winners: Raymond Martin, Jessica Long, U.S. Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for Paralympic athletes and teams of the year. Each of the 2011-12 honorees were part of Team USA’s outstanding performance at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and all are reigning Paralympic champions. Swimmer Jessica Long (Baltimore, Md.) was named Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year; wheelchair racer Raymond Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) was named Paralympic SportsMan of the Year; and the U.S. men’s quad doubles wheelchair tennis team was designated Paralympic Team of the Year.
“We are so proud to honor these young men and women who represent the finest ambassadors of sport, Team USA and the Olympic Movement,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Through their commitment to
excellence on and off the field, these athletes represent our country with incredible grace and composure, and their outstanding achievements are an inspiration to all Americans.”
The awards will be presented at a celebratory dinner during the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly held Sept. 20-21 at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jessica Long, Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year
U.S. Paralympic swimming standout Jessica Long collected eight medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games to tie for the most of any athlete and bring her total Paralympic medal count to 17 over three Games. The
20-year-old grabbed gold in five events in London, including the 100-meter butterfly (S8), 400 freestyle (S8), 100 breaststroke (SB7), 200 individual medley (SM8) and 100 freestyle (S8). She also claimed silver
in the 100 backstroke (S8) and the 4x100 freestyle relay (34 points), and bronze in the 4x100 medley relay (34 points). Long also lowered her world-record times in the 100 and 400 freestyle and has won
both events at three consecutive Paralympic Games. She punched her ticket to London after winning seven events and breaking five world records at the 2012 U.S Paralympic Trails. She returned to the
international stage with high hopes in London after capturing nine gold medals and four world records at the 2011 Pan-Pacific Paralympic Swimming Championships. Swimming World Magazine named Long
Disabled Swimmer of the Year in 2011, and in 2012, she won her second ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
Raymond Martin, Paralympic SportsMan of the Year
In his first Paralympic Games, 18-year-old Raymond Martin struck nothing but gold, winning every event he entered in London. Competing in the T52 class, Martin secured Team USA’s first track & field gold of
the Games after winning the 100 meters. He then cruised to victory in the 400, before securing the top podium spot in the 800. The 200-meter world-record holder then completed his sweep of the sprint
events, posting a time of 30.25 seconds in the 200, his premier event. Martin entered the Games with high expectations after taking top honors in the 200, 400 and 800 meters at the 2012 U.S. Paralympic
Trials, where he set a world record and an American record in the 200 and 800. Martin’s 2011-12 campaign was also highlighted by four medals – including two golds and two silvers – at the 2011
Parapan American Games, followed by a record-shattering performance at the Swiss Series, where he set national records in the 200 and 400.
U.S. Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team, Paralympic Team of the Year
The U.S. men’s quad doubles tennis team of Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) and David Wagner (Hillsboro, Ore.) captured its third consecutive gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The winning duo,
which has dominated the field since quad doubles was introduced at the 2004 Paralympic Games, outlasted favorites Andrew Lapthorne and Peter Norfolk of Great Britain, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to defend its title.
Taylor and Wagner opened the 2011-12 campaign by aiding the U.S. to its seventh world team cup championship last May. Four months later, the duo combined to win its seventh grand slam doubles title
at the 2011 U.S. Open. Prior to the Games, the pair finished third at the 2012 World Team Cup. In addition to winning doubles gold at the London Games, Taylor and Wagner each medaled in the
individual competition, with Wagner claiming silver and bringing his total medal count to five, and Taylor earning bronze to improve his medal count to four overall.
ABOUT THE AWARDS
The Paralympian of the Year award was introduced in 2004, and the category was expanded to the Paralympic SportsWoman, SportsMan and Team of the Year awards in 2009. Winners are selected from the female, male and team of the year nominations of the National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games sports, as well as select, designated entities within the U.S. Olympic Movement.
USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year
2009 Steve Cash, Sled Hockey
2010 Taylor Chace, Sled Hockey
2011-12 Raymond Martin, Track & Field
USOC Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year
2009 Stephani Victor, Skiing
2010 Alana Nichols, Skiing
2011-12 Jessica Long, Swimming
USOC Paralympic Team of the Year
2009 National Sled Hockey Team
2010 Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
2011-12 Men’s Quad Doubles Wheelchair Tennis Team
For more information on the 2011-12 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athlete and team awards, visit TeamUSA.org and USParalympics.org.