Past Winners

Evan Lysacek, 81st Annual AAU Sullivan Award Winner

Evan Lysacek, 81st Annual AAU Sullivan Award Winner

Sport: Figure Skating

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Biography: Leading the U.S. men's contingent at the 2009 World Championships in his training town of Los Angeles, California, Lysacek won gold (becoming the first American man to do so since Todd Eldridge in 1996), helping the American men secure the maximum three spots for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Lysacek became the first American man since Brian Boitano (1988) to win the men's Olympic gold, taking down reigning champ Evgeni Plushenko in the process. Plushenko ended a three-year retirement with the sole goal of winning an Olympic gold medal. Lysacek set a career-best 257.67 points, which was 1.31 better than Plushenko. Despite forgoing the much-hyped "quad" jump, Lysacek still managed to beat Plushenko on the technical mark (the score for jumps, spins and footwork that's been Plushenko's strong suit).

Lysacek followed his gold medal win at Skate America (becoming the first American man to do so since Michael Weiss in 2003) with a win at the Grand Prix Final. With that win, he became only the second American man to ever take home gold from the Final. These two wins set Lysacek up as the leading American man heading into the Vancouver Games.

In addition to his outstanding athletic achievements in 2010, Lysacek also is actively involved with several charitable organizations. Evan has been named a celebrity friend of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) for his work on behalf of the organization. Evan has helped raise thousands of dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation by bringing out his skating friends for Evan Lysacek's "Evening of Hope" show, a memorial for his fallen friend Stephanie Joseph that also benefited the Stephanie Joseph Foundation. As a prelude to the memorial show, Evan was a celebrity scooper for the "World's Largest Ice Cream Social" at Cold Stone Creamery to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Figure Skating in Harlem's (FSH) mission is to transform young lives and help Harlem girls to grow in leadership, confidence and academic achievement.

Not only did Evan participate in the annual Skating with the Stars Under the Stars event in New York City, he was also a member of the FSH board. Since 1968, Special Olympics has brought one message to the world: people with intellectual disabilities can and will succeed if given the opportunity. Evan is proud to support the efforts of the Special Olympics by skating with the athletes. Evan’s interaction helps give skaters a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. P.S. ARTS is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring arts education in public schools by providing comprehensive, skills based, sequential classes in dance, music, theater and visual arts. As a performer himself, Evan has a passion for promoting the organization. The leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eradicating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs. Evan is a longtime supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is to provide expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer and related diseases. Evan has skated in multiple "An Evening with Champions" shows at Harvard, which benefit the Jimmy Fund.

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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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