It’s around that time when we begin giving out awards, none more important than our Athlete of the Year honors. Last year, Jesse Thielke beat out a host of incredible wrestlers to become the first-ever recipient of the award due to his memorable run that started at the 2016 Olympic Trials and hit a fever pitch during his qualifying run in Turkey.
For 2017, the Athlete of the Year (or AOTY for brevity’s sake) may be even more difficult to select. There are plenty of worthy, credible candidates to choose from as several US Greco-Roman wrestlers enjoyed success at significant events both home and abroad.
Our method for determining the 5PM AOTY has been updated. In 2016, we enlisted a collection of former athletes and/or coaches who had no formal affiliation with any of the candidates — but they were kept secret. The latter part is still in effect — our voting committee members cannot be coaches of qualified candidates so as to avoid a conflict of interest. However, starting this year and going forward, all AOTY voting committee members will be made public, although sharing who they voted for is left to their own discretion. Please note the changes below.
2017 Athlete of the Year Vote
For 2017, we have amended our voting procedures in effort to invite not only more transparency, but also to include the community.
- Readers will have a say in how the AOTY is decided by going through the list of nominees below and voting for their selection.
- The reader vote begins December 22nd (today) and ends on Wednesday, December 27th.
- From there, the five wrestlers who receive the most votes will then be considered finalists.
- The 5PM AOTY voting committee will come to its conclusive decision based on the final five candidates decided by the readers.
- The winner is scheduled to be announced on Friday, December 29th at 12:00pm.
5PM AOTY Voting Committee
Joe Betterman — Multi-time National Team member; 2007 World Team member; four-time Senior US Open champ; Colorado USA Wrestling Chairman
Mike Foy — 1989 World silver medalist; two-time Olympian; 1989 Pan Am Championships gold medalist; 1995 Pan Am Games silver medalist; head coach, Leo High School (Ill)
Rulon Gardner — 2000 Olympic gold medalist; 2001 World Champion; 2004 Olympic bronze medalist
Jim Gruenwald — Two-time US Olympian; three-time World Team member; two-time Pan Am Championships gold medalist; head coach, Wheaton College
Dennis Hall — 1995 World Champion; 1996 Olympic silver medalist; 1994 World bronze medalist
Tim Hands — Founder/Sr. Editor, Five Point Move
Harry Lester — two-time World bronze medalist; 2015 Military World silver medalist; 2012 Olympian
MarcAntoni Macias — Media Relations/Research, Five Point Move; head coach, Hunter College
Joe Uccellini — New York State Greco-Roman/freestyle developmental head coach; founder of Curby 3-Style Wrestling
Please vote below.
New for 2017 is the Five Point Move Impact Performer of the Year. Unlike the AOTY, Impact Performer winners are decided entirely by reader vote.
Our selection process for the list of candidates was based on the following parameters:
- An athlete had to have won at least one international event and placed in a minimum of two.
- Senior events only.
- The reader vote begins Friday, December 22nd (today) and ends on Wednesday, December 27th.
- The winner will be announced on Thursday, December 28th.
Please vote below.
How well did you pay attention in 2017? Take this quiz and when you’re done, feel free to let everyone know how strong your Greco game is!