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November 19, 2019

USA Archery’s Ben Thompson and KiSik Lee Honored at 2019 Team USA Best of the Year Awards

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Archery is honored to celebrate World Champion Ben Thompson, Team USA’s Best Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year and National Head Coach KiSik Lee, Best Olympic Coach of the Year. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the winners for the 2019 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches in eight categories. USA Archery had incredible representation, with finalists in four categories.

These incredibly prestigious awards recognize the highest achievements of athletes across all Olympic sports, and with nominees in half of the available categories, USA Archery is proud to commend our athletes and Coach Lee on their outstanding accomplishments this year.

The four athletes and two team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where more than 525,000 fan votes determined 50 percent of the final tally. Members of the Olympic and Paralympic community – including representatives from each member sport organization and an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – accounted for the other 50 percent.

For coaching awards, National Governing Bodies selected their nominees as part of the USOPC’s annual coach of the year recognition program, and the winners were determined by a USOPC selection panel of coaching and sport performance professionals.

Ben Thompson, recognized as the best Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year, upset the world No.1 archer to win gold in the individual men’s compound open event at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He also led Team USA to a world record in the compound men’s open team ranking round and ended the season with a No. 1 world ranking.

National Head Coach KiSik Lee led U.S. archers to a historic year, highlighted by Brady Ellison becoming the first U.S. Olympic style archer to win the world title since 1985. Under Lee’s tutelage, the world No. 1 ranked Ellison became the first man to win five world cup final titles, placing at three world cup stages with two golds and one bronze medal. Additionally, Ellison set a world record of 702/720 in the qualifying stage at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. With Lee in the coach’s box in Lima, Ellison and 15-year-old Casey Kaufhold also won gold in the mixed team event, which will make its Olympic debut in 2020. Coach Lee was named the Best Olympic Coach of the Year and Ellison was honored as a finalist for Best Male Olympic Athlete of the Year.

The Recurve Open Men’s Team from the World Archery Para Championships, Eric Bennett, Timothy Palumbo and Michael Lukow were also honored as finalists in the Best Paralympic Team of the Year category.

The Awards were presented at a special red-carpet ceremony at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The awards show – which features Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs as host – will be televised from 3-4 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 22 on NBC. For more information on the Team USA Awards, including the full list of 2019 finalists, visit TeamUSA.org.

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