2011 December

Academy and Gabon Partnership Leads to Major Art Projects for the African Cup

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Harry Weber works on bronze bust of Pele

2011 Sport Artist of the Year Harry Weber works on bronze bust of Pele for Gabon’s new soccer stadium, which is hosting the African Cup in February.

The United States Sports Academy is teaming up with Gabon to evaluate the country and develop a master plan to train its coaches and teachers, as well as build a Sports Academy.

But that’s not all. The university is also working with Gabon on three major art projects for its new 40,000-seat stadium in Libreville. That’s because Gabon is scheduled in February to host the African Cup of Nations—the soccer championships of Africa.

The artworks for the major tournament include:

  • A bronze bust depicting a smiling Pelé, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, that is being sculpted by Harry Weber. Weber is the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year.
  • Sergey Eylanbekov, the 2004 Sport Artist of the Year, is creating a multi-dimensional acrylic sculpture to serve as the trophy for the country that wins the African Cup title. It will feature Pelé executing his famous bicycle kick.
  • Finally, the Academy has obtained a print depicting Pelé by painter Stephen Holland, the 1993 Sport Artist of the Year. This piece is signed by Pelé and will be displayed in the Pelé Room at the VIP entrance to the new stadium.

Currently, it is planned for the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, who serves as the United Nation’s Security Council chairman, to unveil the bronze Pelé bust as part of the opening of the African Cup.

Weber, whose famous sports sculptures are prominent features at 12 different professional and amateur stadiums in the United States, worked on this bust day and night to produce a model of it in three days. The St. Louis-based sculptor says he was flattered to do the important project. A duplicate of the bronze will be displayed in the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), the largest collection of sport art in the world with more than 2,000 pieces.

Pele by Stephen Holland

Stephen Holland, a 1993 Sport Artist of the Year, painted this rendering of Pele, one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

“What a great honor this is,” Weber says. “If there is a chance for me to do more work for the country of Gabon, I would, of course, be very enthusiastic.”

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich says the Pelé sculpture is “magnificent.” “Weber has done a Herculean job on Pelé’s bust,” he said. “It is fabulous and few artists could have done this in such a tight timeframe. Harry did not go to bed, understanding the importance of the project given his commitment to having it finished as a bronze for the opening of the African Cup.”

All of the works of art resulted from the Academy’s recent major contract with Gabon to help develop its sports programs. The agreement with the west central African nation includes doing a sports study in that country, building a Sports Academy, staffing the program with the faculty necessary to train Gabon’s sports administrators, coaches and athletes, and writing a facility study on the legacy of the new stadium. During its 40-year history as a university focused on sports education, the Academy has served more than 60 countries across the globe.

“It is a great honor and responsibility to help Gabon establish its sports program,” Dr. Rosandich said. “Because of our commitment to sports art, we are also extremely excited about the pieces for the country’s new stadium that honor Pelé, the black pearl of Brazil. He is arguably the best soccer player ever.”

World’s Top-ranked Tennis and Golf Professionals Voted Academy’s 2011 Male and Female Athletes of the Year

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

The world’s No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, and the world’s No.1-ranked women’s golfer, Yani Tseng, are the United States Sports Academy’s 2011 Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

These two top-ranked standouts, who dominated their sports during the past season, were chosen by hundreds of thousands of sports fans worldwide in online balloting. It is the 27th consecutive year that the Academy has conducted the Athlete of the Year award in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports.

Djokovic completed one of the best seasons in men’s tennis history by winning 10-titles, including three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The 24-year-old Serbian also captured a record-breaking five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, and set a record for the most prize money won in a single season on the ATP World Tour, earning $10.6 million.

During 2011, Djokovic registered a remarkable 64-2 match record. He lost only one full, five-set match to Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals. That loss ended his 41-match winning streak to begin the season, the best start since Ivan Lendl won 29 in a row to start 1986. Djokovic’s first ever Wimbledon title vaulted him to the No. 1 ranking in the world in July. He followed it with his first U.S. Open victory over Spain’s Rafael Nadal. Djokovic became only the sixth player in the open era to win three majors in a calendar year.

Tseng, a Taiwanese golfer, also had a history-making season. She claimed her fifth major championship this year at the age of 22, making her the youngest golfer, male or female, to do so. Tseng made history by winning the Women’s British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland. When Se Ri Pak (LPGA) and Tiger Woods (PGA) won their fourth major titles, they were both 24 years old. Tseng’s victory in the British Open was her second straight and at the time the victory was her fourth out of the last five women’s major tournaments.

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng

This year, Tseng finished No. 1 in scoring average, driving distance, birdies and rounds under par en route to her second consecutive Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Player of the Year award. The world’s No. 1-ranked women’s golfer recorded seven LPGA titles, including two majors, plus won four other international events.

Sports fans from across the world decided who the most outstanding male and female athletes were in 2011 through online voting on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. The ballot included 12 males and 12 females and voting lasted from Thursday, Dec. 1 to Monday, Dec. 19.

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. Each month, the public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes done online. The votes, along with the Academy’s selection committee, choose the male and female winners.

In 2010, the Male Athlete of the Year was Spain’s star soccer player David Villa and the Female Athlete of the Year was South Korea’s No. 1 figure skater Yuna Kim. They both dominated the voting, which received more than 12 votes per second from around the world at one point.

The 2011 online ballot included a mixture of athletes from 15 different countries representing a wide variety of popular sports. Their performances stood out and provided some of the best highlights and stories in sports during the past year.

Finishing second in the male Athlete of the Year category was Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. The American baseball player won both the American League’s Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award in 2011. The overpowering right-hander, who threw his second no-hitter this year, finished the season with the AL’s pitching triple crown by going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. Verlander, who was the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, joined the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe as the only player to win all three major awards during their careers.

The runner up to Tseng in the Female Athlete of the Year voting was Japanese figure skater Miki Ando. In an inspiring performance, Ando won the women’s World Figure Skating Championship in Moscow by overcoming 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim, plus the earthquake and tsunami devastation back in her homeland of Japan. It was Ando’s second world title.

Third place winners were Philippines boxer Manny Pacquiao and Belgium tennis star Kim Clijsters, who narrowly overcame a handful of other athletes in the worldwide online voting. Pacquiao successfully defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title by defeating Sugar Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez this year. The Filipino has won 15 consecutive fights and hasn’t lost in six years. Meanwhile, Clijsters won her first Australian Open title in January, which was the fourth major of her career and catapulted the 27-year-old to the world’s No. 1-ranking in women’s tennis. In addition, the victory was Clijsters’ third Grand Slam singles title in six tries since returning from a two-year sabbatical.

Academy Delivers Thousands of Gifts to Toys for Tots

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Toys for Tots staff group photo

The United States Sports Academy collected more toys for underprivileged children in Baldwin county than it ever has during its 17-year history of serving as a collection center.

The university teamed up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation and the 2011 Toys for Tots campaign resulted in several thousands of gifts being donated for needy children.

“In these poor economic times, it is exciting to see so much giving,” said Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “It’s important to help as many people as we can, especially now more than ever before.”

All the Academy’s faculty and staff who donated a toy gathered around the Christmas Tree in the Lobby on Wednesday, Dec. 14 to present the Toys for Tots to the Marines.

The Academy dedicated the donation in the name of Jay Courtney, former senior vice commandant of the Daphne Marine Corps League Detachment, who is battling cancer.

Long considered the region’s largest collection center for the Toys for Tots program, local residents, organizations, companies and schools dropped off their new, unwrapped toys at the sports unversity’s campus in Daphne, Ala.

The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Since the inception of Toys for Tots, more than 400 million toys have been distributed to more than 188 million needy children across the country.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to children. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the concept and made it a national endeavor.

To make a donation to Toys for Tots online, please visit the Toys for Tots website.

Students Welcome to Take Doctoral Courses on Academy’s Campus This Spring

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Doctoral students are welcome to take two courses being taught this spring semester at the United States Sports Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus.

The sports university is offering SAR 776 Research Methodologies and SAM 730 Sports Leadership Principles as part of its very special three-year residential doctoral degree program. The program began in September with the addition of five doctoral teaching assistants. They were selected from more than 100 applicants to receive scholarships, plus a stipend.

Both classes are being taught at times convenient for doctoral students along the Gulf Coast who work full-time. Classes are scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday during the spring semester that runs from Thursday, Jan. 5 to Tuesday, April 17.

Students may wish to take Research Methodologies in the classroom, instead of online, for the opportunity to discuss statistics, research methods and dissertation topics face-to-face with an Academy professor. The class is part of the research core and considered one of the harder subjects in the doctoral program.

Of course, students seeking their doctorate can take advantage of classroom instruction at anytime during the three-year course rotation for the current doctoral residential program. To view the tentative schedule, click here.

Currently, the five TAs enrolled in the residential courses are:

  • Brandon Spradley, a track and field star at the University of Alabama, who holds a master’s degree in Exercise Science and graduated with honors.
  • Patrick Brennan, who holds a law degree from the largest law school in this country, Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
  • Kristy Crowley, whose master’s degree comes from Columbia University and who played professional basketball in Denmark.
  • John Petty, who holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University and who is a former U.S. Army captain and helicopter pilot.
  • Amber Magner, who holds a degree in Sport Management from the University of New Orleans and who has experience as a women’s basketball coach and as a professor in Sport Management.

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its latest monthly graduates.

Bachelor’s Students

  • William Randall Ashley (Asheville, N.C.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
  • Michael Tai Conner (Waldorf, Md.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
  • Marques Eugene Evans (San Antonio, Texas) – B.S.S. Sports Studies
  • Latanya Sheffield (Oro Valley, Ariz.) – B.S.S. Sports Management
  • Ryan James Webster (Rancho Santa Marga, Calif.) – B.S.S. Sports Management

Master’s Students

  • Glad Tudor Bugariu (Lexington, SC) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Rynel S. Butler (Virginia Beach, Va.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Zachary James Fletcher (Olathe, Kan.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
  • Brian Jesse Hayes (Pahrump, Nev.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Andre Joseph Huston (Hamden, Conn.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
  • Jeremy Daniel Lichtig (Shreveport, La.) – M.S.S. Sports Management/Sports Medicine Dual
  • James Michael Mauro (Rochester, N.Y.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
  • Thomas Paul Moore (Saint Albans, Vt.) – M.S.S. Sports Studies
  • Joshua Christian Ramos (Winters, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching

First 2+2 Program with Community College Gets Underway

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Ocean County College became the first school to establish a so-called 2+2 program with the United States Sports Academy.

The program allows the community college in Toms River, N.J., to prepare its students after two years of study to attend the Academy and earn a bachelor’s in sports management.

Michael Klecan, who earned his master’s in sports medicine in 1994 from the Academy, says he’s excited about the new partnership for Ocean County students. Klecan, a professor and head athletic trainer at the community college, helped spearhead the creation of the 2+2 program with the Academy—a leader in sports education for 40 years.

“By developing programs, such as the 2+2 with the Academy, our college is able to help students progress in their education,” Klecan says. “This progress eventually will help lead them to employment in a field they enjoy.”

Ocean County is promoting enrollment in the Academy’s 2+2 program in several ways, including highlighting it in college publications, meeting with local high school guidance counselors, establishing an internship with the Philadelphia Phillies Class A team, forming a sport management advisory committee and announcing the program on its website.

The Academy, known as America’s Sports University, is currently working with two other community colleges to set up 2+2 programs that provide students the opportunity to continue their education seamlessly in the university’s unique upper-division bachelor’s program. Currently, students with 36 to 90 semester credits can transfer into the Academy and earn their bachelor’s degree.

The Academy also has more than 50 articulation agreements in place with community colleges from coast to coast.

Betsy Smith, the Academy’s director of academic administration and continuing education, worked with Ocean County and hopes to set up more 2+2 programs.

“It’s our goal to develop more programs like this because of the benefit to the students with a seamless transfer to their four-year degree,” she says.

Click through to learn more about the Academy’s 2+2 program with community colleges. Also you can download a PDF, which explains the 2+2 program and coursework with Ocean County College

U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest Receives First Entry from World-Renowned Artist

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“London Calling” by Primo Angeli

“London Calling” by Primo Angeli is the first entry in the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest, which the Academy is receiving submissions for through Feb. 1, 2012.

World-renowned artist Primo Angeli, who designed the official poster for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, submitted the first entry into the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest.

Angeli’s piece, “London Calling,” depicts the classic portrayal of the ancient Greek discus thrower. Angeli added an armband to him with the 2012 London Olympic logo on it.

“For this poster, I borrowed the newly designed British trademark for the 2012 London Olympics,” Angeli explains. “It plays a contrapuntal role against the classic portrayal of Discus, aka Discopolis. This Olympic message integrates contemporary branding with fine art for an Olympic celebration of London Calling.”

Angeli notes that the Discus statue, which is attributed to the Grecian sculptor Myron in 450 BC, is currently housed in the British Museum. It is known for its athletic energy, rhythm, harmony and balance.

His artwork was received at the United States Sports Academy, which is conducting its fourth consecutive art contest under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). A call for American artists of all ages is underway for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest, which is accepting submissions through Feb. 1, 2012. Winners of the U.S. contest will be entered into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Art Competition for a chance to win $30,000 and to have their art displayed at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Angeli, who once owned one of San Francisco’s oldest and largest design studios, has a long history of working with the Olympics. IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch personally chose a design created by Angeli as the official poster of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which was the 100th year celebration of the modern Games. He also created pieces for the 1998 Nagano and the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

It’s that involvement since 1996 that Angeli says made it impossible for him to resist entering the current U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest. He describes his past Olympic work as “enjoyable” and “contagious.”

“There were several reasons, the first being fabulous London and the forever enjoyment of finding an appropriate statement that would work for the Olympic competition,” he said.

Like Angeli, other American artist can enter their pieces interpreting the theme of the London 2012 Art Competition, which is “Sport and the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.” Artists can combine the three values and/or depict only one of the values in the work submitted.

The contest includes two categories of work—Sculptures and Graphic Works, which include paintings, drawings, engravings, etc. Both categories include abstract art and there are no restrictions on the choice of techniques utilized by the artist.

No works that already belong to a museum or private collection can be entered in this art contest. All works entered must be free of any third-party rights. Sculptures cannot exceed 44 pounds and 4 x 3 x 3 feet, including packaging. Graphic Works cannot exceed 4 x 3 feet, including frame.

Submissions must be received by Feb. 1, 2012 at the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives. The institution’s mailing address is: One Academy Drive, Daphne, Ala., 36526.

View the official rules and regulations here.

Tennessee's Summitt and Cronan Receive Academy Awards of Sport

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Summitt and Cronan receive Academy Awards of Sport

Tennessee head basketball coach Pat Summitt (left) receives the Academy’s 2011 Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias Courage Award, while Joan Cronan (center), who was the interim vice chancellor and athletic director for both men’s and women’s sports, receives the 2011 Carl Maddox Sports Management Award. Presenting the awards during the season-opening game for the Lady Vols was Academy Trustee emeritus Gene Policinski (right).

More than 12,000 fans were on hand Sunday, Nov. 13, at the season-opening game for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols women’s basketball team to see the pre-game presentation of two United States Sports Academy Awards to sports legends in athletics.

Head women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt received the Babe Didrickson Zaharias Courage Award, while Joan Cronan, interim vice chancellor and athletic director for both men’s and women’s athletics, received the 2011 Carl Maddox Sports Management Award.

Academy trustee emeritus Gene Policinski, former Managing Editor/Sports of USA Today, presented the awards on-court to Summitt and Cronan.

“It was a great honor to represent the United States Sports Academy in honoring these two great figures who represent the best of athletics, sportsmanship and athletes to students,” Policinski said. “The applause and cheers from the fans clearly showed the affection at this university for these two champions in their own right.”

Summitt discovered she had early-onset dementia (Alzheimer’s type) but has vowed to fight the incurable disease, raise awareness and keep on coaching. For her indomitable spirit, Summitt earned the Courage Award.

Cronan is the first woman in Southeastern Conference history to oversee an entire athletics department and has a 28-year record of success, which earned her the Sports Management Award. Cronan also was honored a day earlier in ceremonies at the Academy in Daphne.

The weekend ended well for both Summitt and Cronan: The Lady Vols defeated Pepperdine, 89-57.

Wisconsin Wins Inaugural Big Ten Championship to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Wisconsin was chosen as the winner of Week 14 in the United States Sports Academy’s 2011 College Football Game of the Year contest for winning the inaugural Big Ten championship game over Michigan State, 42-39.

The victory revenged the Badgers’ regular season loss in October to the Spartans on a Hail Mary pass and clinched Wisconsin’s second straight Rose Bowl bid.

Wisconsin earned the undisputed Big Ten title thanks primarily to their two offensive leaders—running back Montee Ball and quarterback Russell Wilson. Ball scored four touchdowns, the last a game-winning 7-yard run with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter. Ball finished with 27 carries for 137 yards and he came within one TD of breaking Barry Sanders’ NCAA Division I mark of 39 career touchdowns.

Wilson, the game’s Most Valuable Player, completed 17 of 24 passes for 187 yards and 3 TDs. Wilson has thrown a touchdown pass in 37 straight games—an NCAA record for the longest streak.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Former Marine Corps Commandant Receives Academy's 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award

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Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Charles C. Krulak (right), the 31st commandant of the Marines, receives his 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award at the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools annual meeting in Orlando from Dr. T.J. Rosandich (right), the Academy’s vice president and chief academic officer.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Charles “Chuck” C. Krulak, the former 31st commandant of the Marines, accepted the United States Sport Academy’s 2011 Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award for his longtime contributions to sport.

Now, he is the president of Birmingham-Southern College where his leadership is expected to further enhance the university’s reputation as one of America’s finest liberal arts institutions.

Krulak, who has distinguished himself as an athlete, Marine and businessman, received his award on Sunday, Dec. 4 at an annual meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and School in Orlando. Dr. T.J. Rosandich, the Academy’s vice president and chief academic officer, presented the award.

Krulak was a standout wrestler at the U.S. Naval Academy and at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He earned induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1996.

A 35-year veteran of the Marines, Krulak was appointed in July 1995 as the 31st commandant of U.S. Marines Corps and was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired from the post in June 1999 and is credited during his tenure for annually increasing the USMC share of the Department of Defense budget by $1.5 billion to initiate a modernization effort that continues to benefit troops today.

Krulak’s military career included two tours of duty in Vietnam, serving in the Persian Gulf War and being the commanding general of the 2nd Force Service Support Group at Camp LeJeune, N.C., during the Gulf War. His military honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star Medal, three Bronze Star medals, two Purple Heart Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the French Legion of Honor, among many others.

After his retirement from the military, Krulak was named in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Europe Bank in Chester, England. There he spearheaded a financial turnaround for the third largest credit card provider in the United Kingdom and the largest credit card provider in the Republic of Ireland. In 2004, he joined MBNA America Bank N.A. in Wilmington, Del., as vice chairman and chief administrative officer, where he was responsible for corporate development and acquisitions, personnel and education for the Fortune 500 company.

The Academy’s Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual in any amateur or professional sport, past or present, who has excelled as a contributor to both sport and society over at least a decade.

Worldwide Online Voting Begins for the Academy’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year

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For the 27th consecutive year, the United States Sports Academy will name an Athlete of the Year in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports.

Sports fans from across the world will decide who the most outstanding male and female athletes were in 2011 through online voting on the Academy’s website. The ballot of 12 males and 12 females goes live at midnight Thursday, Dec. 1 and closes at midnight Saturday, Dec. 24.

The 2010 Athlete of the Year ballot received more than 12 votes per second from around the world at one point and ended with hundreds of thousands of votes cast. In 2010, the Male Athlete of the Year was Spain’s star soccer player David Villa and the Female Athlete of the Year was South Korea’s No. 1 figure skater Yuna Kim. They both dominated the voting.

This year’s ballot includes a mixture of athletes from 15 different countries representing a wide variety of popular sports. Their performances stood out and provided some of the best highlights and stories in sports during the past year.

In alphabetical order, the 12 men competing for the Academy’s prestigious Athlete of the Year honor are:

  1. David Beckham, soccer, Great Britain
  2. Patrick Chan, figure skating, Canada
  3. Novak Djokovic, tennis, Serbia
  4. Kirani James, track and field, Grenada
  5. Ryan Lochte, swimming, United States
  6. Rory McIlroy, golf, Ireland
  7. Geoffrey Mutai, marathon, Kenya
  8. Dirk Nowitzki, basketball, Germany
  9. Manny Pacquiao, boxing, Phillipines
  10. Aaron Rodgers, football, United States
  11. Kohei Uchimura, gymnastics, Japan
  12. Justin Verlander, baseball, United States

In alphabetical order, the 12 women competing for the Academy’s prestigious Athlete of the Year honor are:

  1. Miki Ando, figure skating, Japan
  2. Seimone Augustus, basketball, United States
  3. Tatyana Chernova, track and field, Russia
  4. Kim Clijsters, tennis, Belgium
  5. English Gardner, track and field, United States
  6. Carmelita Jeter, track and field, United States
  7. Li Na, tennis, China
  8. Federica Pellegrini, swimming, Italy
  9. Yani Tseng, golf, Taiwan
  10. Lindsey Vonn, skiing, United States
  11. Jordyn Wieber, gymnastics, United States
  12. Chrissie Wellington, triathlon, Great Britain

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. Each month, the worldwide online votes along with the Academy’s selection committee choose the male and female winners.

The Academy, in conjunction with USA Today and NBC Sports, will announce the 2011 Male and Female Athletes of the Year on Christmas Day on Sunday, Dec. 25.

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