SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake was honored at the Utah Governor’s State of Sport Awards Presented on Tuesday night, with the Claret-and-Cobalt picking up the Utah Team of the Year award, Captain Kyle Beckerman earning the Male Professional Athlete of the Year award and GK Nick Rimando taking home the Highlight of the Year award.
Hosted by the Utah Sports Commission and presented by Zions Bank, the Utah State of Sport Awards celebrate achievements made in professional, Olympic, collegiate, amateur and high school sports in the state of Utah in 2013. Award winners were decided by a fan vote, with over 125,000 votes cast from sports fans across all 50 states and from 80 countries around the world.
This year’s State of sport Awards included 55 nominees in 10 categories. Real Salt Lake beat out the Salt Lake Bees, Utah State University Football, Lone Peak High School Boys’ Basketball, Duchesne High School Football and Davis High School Girls’ Cross Country to win the Team of the Year Award; Beckerman topped the Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke, the Portland Trailblazers – and ex-Weber State player – Damian Lillard, 2014 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Skier Ted Ligety, 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Bobsledder Steve Holcomb and PRCA Rodeo Competitor Kaycee Field to win Pro/Olympic Athlete of the Year; Rimando won Highlight of the Year for his MLS Save of the Year-winning double save in RSL’s 2-2 draw at Colorado last August.
RSL’s MLS Cup 2013 match against Sporting Kansas City was nominated for Game or Event of the Year, but did not claim the award.
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert provided remarks and presented the awards along with golf legend, designer and philanthropist, Jack Nicklaus, at the third-annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards. Over 950 guests attended the event recognizing athletes, coaches, key sports figures and partners who have been instrumental in helping to build Utah’s sports industry.
The lone unbeaten team in MLS, 3-0-4 Real Salt Lake will return action this Saturday, when it will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. A limited amount of tickets are available to Saturday’s match and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.