Past Winners

Paul Hamm, 75th Annual AAU Award Winner

Paul Hamm, 75th Annual AAU Award Winner

Sport: Gymnastics

Hometown: Waukesha, Wisconsin

Biography: Olympic gold medalist Paul Hamm was only the second gymnast to win the AAU Sullivan Award (Kurt Thomas 1979).

Hamm, 22 a native of Waukesha, Wis., became the first-ever Olympic All-Around champion for the United States, winning in stunning fashion, and taking home team and high bar silver as well at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Hamm’s performance is one of the greatest victories in Olympic history, as he shot from 12th to 1st in just two rotations for the gold by the slimmest of margins – just 0.012.



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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 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 700,000 participants and over 150,000 volunteers.
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