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Paul Hamm, an Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, received the 75th Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.

"Oh, this is such a huge honor," he said before turning to congratulate the other seven finalists in attendance Wednesday night in New York. "It's just great to be one of the Sullivan Award winners."

Hamm beat out previous winner Michael Phelps as well as Olympians Carly Patterson, Natalie Coughlin, Cael Sanderson, Andre Ward, Jeremy Wariner and Steven Lopez for the award, which Phelps won last year before going on to claim six gold medals and two bronzes at the Athens Olympics -- matching the record for most medals at a single games.