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LOS ANGELES, California - The 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year is a star-studded awards show hosted annually by the United States Olympic Committee to honor and celebrate both the athletes and the team behind the team that puts USA on top of podiums around the world. This year's show was held at Royce Hall on UCLA's campus and will air Dec. 23 on NBC at 5:00pm E.T.
USA Archery was honored to have several key individuals honored at the show last night. LaNola Shepherd (Lehi, Utah) attended on behalf of the U.S. recurve women's team who won silver at the first stage of the Archery World Cup earlier this year in Shanghai. The first U.S. recurve women's podium finish in nearly two years, the 11th seeded team of Shepherd and Olympians Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) and Khatuna Lorig (Denver, Colorado) upset India, Japan and Malaysia to face Russia for gold.
Para Coach M.J. Rogers (Carlinville, Illinois) was named as one of three finalists for the National Para Coach of the Year Award and was honored to be selected as a top nominee. Rogers worked with the Para archers at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships to bring home a world title and five podium finishes including one gold, two silvers and two bronzes. In addition to guiding athletes in competition, Rogers travels the country working with Team USA athletes in their local communities and teaching adaptive archery seminars for athletes and coaches throughout the Americas. He has also been a critical player in generating resources for para athletes and was instrumental in working with USA Archery to develop the Adaptive Archery Manual, which has gained international recognition as the premiere resource for para archers.
The awards celebration also recognized Greg Easton (Salt Lake City, Utah) and the Easton Sports Development Foundation with the Building Dreams Award, presented by USG, which recognizes an individual, group or community that has gone above and beyond in its support of Team USA.
The Easton Sports Development Foundation has been a major contributor to USA Archery's high performance and grassroots efforts. After the construction of the Easton Archery Center of Excellence in 2015, the foundation was key in helping Team USA win two medals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In 2017, the foundation supported many USA Archery initiatives, giving nearly $1 million to promote long-term program sustainability in efforts nationwide and helping Team USA reach the tops of major international podiums. In 2017, ESDF also took steps to return the Archery World Cup to the U.S. with plans to host stops in Salt Lake City in 2018 and 2019, giving American athletes the chance to compete on home soil while enhancing international exposure for the sport.
USA Archery is incredibly grateful for the generous contributions of the Easton Foundations and decades of passion for and dedication to developing the sport of archery. We also congratulate Coach Rogers on his selection as a finalist and thank him for his endless efforts to support the Para archers of the United States and share our congratulations with our recurve women's team on their accomplishments this season.
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