Jan. 25, 2013
SEATTLE - Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Whipple, an NCAA champion with the UW women's rowing team, was named the Female Amateur Sports Star of the Year at the 78th Annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards held Friday night at Benaroya Hall.
Whipple, who won gold as coxswain of the women's eight in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics after having won silver in 2004, was one of a host of Huskies on hand for the annual event.
Also nominated in her category was UW cross country star Katie Flood. On the men's side, Husky tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and golfer Chris Williams were among the nominees for the award, won by Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian of Bremerton.
The UW men's rowing team's unbeaten season was one of five nominees for Sports Story of the Year, which went to the perfect game thrown by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
Among the other honorees was longtime "Voice of the Huskies" Bob Rondeau, who became the fourth recipient of the Keith Jackson Award, presented to a member of the media for excellence in communicating the sports stories of the state of Washington. Rondeau was introduced by former broadcast partner and 1982 Seattle Sports Star of the Year Chuck Nelson.
Whipple, who was presented her award by former Husky soccer star Tina (Frimpong) Ellerston and soccer legend Michelle Akers, had been nominated for the award in the past.
"This is a surprise, and I'm honored," said Whipple, who also thanked her husband, Ryan, who was in attendance. "I can't believe I get to be in a room with so many great athletes."
Whipple also harkened back to her college days. "The University of Washington taught me how to win," she said.