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Johnson Wins Sullivan Award
(44 votes, average 4.09 out of 5)

World and Olympic champion Shawn Johnson won the 79th Sullivan Award, announced at a banquet Wednesday night in New York.


Shawn Johnson (U.S.)

Johnson, 17, joins the company of Kurt Thomas and Paul Hamm as the only gymnasts to win the award, which each year honors the top U.S. amateur athlete.

The Sullivan Award winner was selected by officials of the Amateur Athletic Union, U.S. Olympic Committee members and college sports information directors, as well as fan votes cast online.

At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Johnson won the gold medal on balance beam, and silver medals with the U.S. team, in the all-around and on floor exercise. The Iowa native won three gold medals at the 2007 World Championships, including the all-around title. She is currently starring on the hit ABC series "Dancing with the Stars."

2008 Olympic champion Nastia Liukin also was a finalist for this year's award along with volleyball player Cynthia Barboza, basketball player Tyler Hansbrough and the U.S. Olympic men's 4x100m free relay swim team.

"This is an incredible honor for Shawn and it recognizes her outstanding gymnastics accomplishments, as well as her character both on and off the field ofplay," said USAG Gymnastics President Steve Penny. "We also congratulate the other Sullivan Award finalists, especially Nastia, who achieved great success and is also a wonderful ambassador for gymnastics."

Shawn Johnson accepts 79th Sullivan Award

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