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Michel Assouline Named Para Dressage Coach of the Year 

Sunday, February 7, 2021
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Michel Assouline started with the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage program in May 2017. His innovation and persistent drive to grow the sport and expand the program has impacted the whole Para Dressage community. Through the pandemic, Assouline has helped several athletes work through emotional pressures and reposition athletes’ training schedules by utilizing technology and focusing on enhanced communication. His efforts include online judging, direct coaching through PIXIO, group meetings and one-on-one meetings, which proved effective when athletes showed performance improvement at the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championships October 23-25. In three years, Michael has built a Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program that was rolled out across the country during the latter part of 2019 and early 2020 that received high participation with 32 coaches going through the program. In March 2020, the U.S. Para Dressage Team ranked No. 1 in the world having achieved scores that would have tracked Team USA to be on the podium at Tokyo 2020. At the heart of Assouline’s success is his ability to work with each athlete and build a specialized program around them to improve their development and performance, which can be seen in Roxanne Trunnell, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world in her grade and overall across all five grades.

Michel Assouline was honored to receive this distinction, "This is a huge honor for US Para Dressage. The accolade is very much appreciated but this really reflects on everyone's efforts, it is a team effort. A stone missing in the building blocks and this wouldn’t have happened. This USOPA award is huge for United States Equestrian Federation and Para-Dressage. What it means first and foremost is having a strong presence on the US and Global Sport stage now. I couldn’t have done it without every single athlete, groom, owner, sponsor, and all our USEF support staff, in other words the whole team. thank you."

About the USOPA:
The United States Olympians and Paralympians Association (USOPA) aims to build a comprehensive national association of Olympians and Paralympians. In furtherance of this goal, the organization shall facilitate the formation of local chapters; help members promote Olympism and Paralympic values in their communities; and encourage members to stay engaged in the Olympic and Paralympic movements. PURPOSE: To create and implement programs that will integrate United States Olympians & Paralympians into every facet of the Olympic Movement. OLYMPIAN & PARALYMPIAN PARTICIPATION: To continually increase Olympian & Paralympian participation in U.S. Olympic & Paralympic activities. To represent the broad base of U.S. Olympians & Paralympians with input into United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) policies and programs.