Olympic medal-winning speedskaters, a World Series champion and a star from the WNBA champs are among the nominees for the 76th annual Sports Star of the Year awards Jan. 26 at Benaroya Hall.
Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski, both from Federal Way and teammates on the U.S. Olympic short-track speedskating team, won four medals at the Vancouver Olympics in February. They are nominees for the Male Sports Star award.
Two-time Cy Young Award-inning pitcher Tim Lincecum, from Renton and the University of Washington, who helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, is among the nominees for the Professional Star of the Year, as is Swin Cash, who helped the Seattle Storm dominate the WNBA en route to the franchise’s second championship.
Since its creation in 1936 by Royal Brougham, legendary Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports editor and columnist, there have been nearly 100 Sports Stars honored. Once an individual has been named a Sports Star, they become part of an elite group — some of best sports icons in our regions history. Now produced by the Seattle Sports Commission, the event is in its second year for the Benaroya venue.
The Star tradition is the longest-running event of its kind in the U.S. The program begins at 7 p.m. with a reception at 5 p.m. It honors the best athletes, coaches, media personalities, stories, sports executives and others in the state in 2010.
Nominees for Professional Sports Star of the Year:
- Swin Cash (Seattle Storm)
- Tim Lincecum (San Francisco Giants)
- Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC)
- Lewis Ratcliff (Washington Stealth)
- Mike Williams (Seattle Seahawks)
Nominees for the Male Sports Star of the Year:
- J.R. Celski (U.S Olympic speedskating)
- Mason Foster (University of Washington football)
- Apolo Ohno (U.S. speedskating)
- Quincy Pondexter (University of Washington basketball)
- Klay Thompson (Washington State University basketball)
Nominees for the Female Sports Star of the Year:
- Katie Follett (University of Washington cross country/track and field)
- Jenna Hagglund (University of Washington volleyball)
- Ariana Kukors (USA swimming)
- Jessica Pixler (Seattle Pacific University cross country and track & field)
- Karen Thatcher (USA Hockey)
Nominees for the Sports Story of the Year:
- Ichiro Suzukis 10th consecutive season with 200-plus hits and recipient of the Gold Glove Award
- Washington Stealth wins the National Lacrosse League Champions Cup
- Seattle Storm wins the WNBA Championship
- Auburn Little League Baseball All-Stars make a run to the Little League World Series
- Felix Hernandez wins American League Cy Young Award
Fan voting in the Professional, Male, Female and Sports Story of the Year categories can be done online at seattlesports.org/sportsstar. Voting runs through Jan. 21.
In addition to the nominees, speakers and presenters expected to attend include legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson, former SuperSonic Gary Payton, Gov. Christine Gregoire and USA Soccer star Hope Solo.
Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at benaroyahall.org or by calling 206-215-4747.