Each year, the AAU James E. Sullivan Award is given to the nation’s best amateur athlete. Past award winners include Michael Phelps, Janet Evans, Peyton Manning, Shawn Johnson and more. This year, Caeleb Dressel and Lydia Jacoby have advanced to the finalist round for their performances at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Dressel entered Tokyo in three individual events, along with relay team eligibility, and left with five gold medals, making him the winningest athlete at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and just the fifth swimmer to win five golds in a single Olympic Games competition.
His medal count is not where the accolades from this summer end, as he also set broke the American record (twice) and world record (once) this summer in the 100-meter butterfly and set U.S. Open records in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly this summer at Trials.
Dressel’s determination and leadership led to him being named one of two male team captains for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team this summer – a title that is voted upon by the athlete’s peers at training camp. Under his leadership, the U.S. men captured eight gold medals.
For Jacoby, her qualification for the U.S. Olympic Swimming team made her the first Alaskan-born swimmer to compete in the Olympics. She qualified in the 100m breaststroke, going three seconds faster at Trials than her pre-pandemic personal best.
In Tokyo, Jacoby surged past a talented 100m breaststroke final that included decorated names such as Lilly King, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Yuliya Efimova and more in order to capture gold in 1:04.95. The time makes her the fourth-fastest American in history.
Jacoby would later go on to win silver as part of the women’s 4x100m medley relay, making her one of 13 U.S. swimmers to leave Tokyo with multiple medals.
For vote and to view more information on the award, head to https://bit.ly/91stAAUSullivan
. Voting ends Monday, September 27.