United Press International Athlete of the Year Award

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The United Press International Athlete of the Year Award was conferred annually between 1974 and 1995, one each to the individuals adjudged, without restriction to nationality or sport contested, to be the male and female athlete of the year by a panel of sportswriters and editors constituted under the auspices of the United Press International.[1]

Male winners[edit]

Year Athlete Nation represented Sport
1974 Muhammad Ali  United States Boxing
1975 João Carlos de Oliveira  Brazil Athletics
1976 Alberto Juantorena  Cuba Athletics
1977 Alberto Juantorena  Cuba Athletics
1978 Henry Rono  Kenya Athletics
1979 Sebastian Coe  United Kingdom Athletics
1980 Eric Heiden  United States Speed skating
1981 Sebastian Coe  United Kingdom Athletics
1982 Daley Thompson  United Kingdom Athletics
1983 Carl Lewis  United States Athletics
1984 Carl Lewis  United States Athletics
1985 Steve Cram  United Kingdom Athletics
1986 Diego Maradona  Argentina Football
1987 Ben Johnson  Canada Athletics
1988 Matt Biondi  United States Swimming
1989 Boris Becker  West Germany Tennis
1990 Stefan Edberg  Sweden Tennis
1991 Sergey Bubka  Soviet Union Athletics
1992 Kevin Young  United States Athletics
1993 Miguel Indurain  Spain Road cycling
1994 Johann Olav Koss  Norway Speed skating
1995 Jonathan Edwards  United Kingdom Athletics

Female winners[edit]

Year Athlete Nation represented Sport
1974 Irena Szewińska  Poland Athletics
1975 Nadia Comăneci  Romania Artistic gymnastics
1976 Nadia Comăneci  Romania Artistic gymnastics
1977 Rosemarie Ackermann  East Germany Athletics
1978 Tracy Caulkins  United States Swimming
1979 Marita Koch  East Germany Athletics
1980 Hanni Wenzel  Liechtenstein Alpine skiing
1981 Chris Evert Lloyd  United States Tennis
1982 Marita Koch  East Germany Athletics
1983 Jarmila Kratochvílová  Czechoslovakia Athletics
1984 Martina Navratilova  United States Tennis
1985 Mary Decker Slaney  United States Athletics
1986 Heike Drechsler  East Germany Athletics
1987 Steffi Graf  West Germany Tennis
1988 Florence Griffith-Joyner  United States Athletics
1989 Steffi Graf  West Germany Tennis
1990 Merlene Ottey  Jamaica Athletics
1991 Monica Seles  SFR Yugoslavia Tennis
1992 Monica Seles  FR Yugoslavia Tennis
1993 Wang Junxia  China Athletics
1994 Le Jingyi  China Swimming
1995 Gwen Torrence  United States Athletics


  1. ^ In 1974 and 1975, the voting panel comprised sportswriters and editors exclusively from Europe.

See also[edit]


  • Brown, Gerry, and Morrison, Michael (eds.; 2003). ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac. New York City: ESPN Books and Hyperion (joint). ISBN 0-7868-8715-X.

External links[edit]