Gussie Crawford Award

AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award

The Significance

The AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented annually at the AAU James E. Sullivan Award ceremony, was established to honor Gussie Crawford, voted the first female president of AAU, as a trailblazer in amateur sports. The award is intended to recognize those athletes whose efforts, both on and off their playing surface on the national or international stage, have paved the way for  great change in amateur sports..

Inaugural Receipient

Jesse Owens, track and field legend, for his lasting impact on amateur sports
The award was accepted on the family’s behalf by his granddaughter, Gina Hemphill-Strachan, during the presentation of the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Ceremony, April 11, 2017 at the New York Athletic Club..

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The Award

Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Based on the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism, the AAU Sullivan Award goes far beyond athletic accomplishments and honors those who have shown strong moral character.

The AAU

The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sports. During its early years, the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of "Sports for All, Forever," is shared by over 670,000 participants and over 100,000 volunteers.
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