2013 November

Oklahoma State Grounds High-Flying Baylor to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Oklahoma State senior Clint Chelf, who lost the starting job earlier this season, looked like the Heisman Trophy quarterback on the field against Baylor.

Chelf passed for a career-high 370 yards passing for three TDs and running for another as the No. 10 Cowboys dismantled the No. 4 Bears 49-17 in the Big 12 Conference game. The upset earned Oklahoma State selection as the Week 13 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.
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Worldwide Online Voting Begins Dec. 1 for the Academy’s 2013 Male and Female Athlete of the Year

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For the 29th consecutive year, the United States Sports Academy will name an Athlete of the Year in conjunction with NBC Sports.

Sports fans from across the world will decide who the most outstanding male and female athletes were in 2013 through online voting on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu/ballot/athlete-of-the-year. The ballot of 12 males and 12 females goes live at midnight Sunday, Dec. 1 and closes at midnight Friday, Dec. 20.
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USC Edges Stanford to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Southern Cal repeatedly came up big on defense to knock No. 4 Stanford out of the national college football title hunt.

USC kicker Andre Heidari hit a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play to give the Trojans a 20-17 upset over the Cardinal. The electrifying victory earned USC selection as the Week 12 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

This is the first time USC has beaten an AP-ranked Stanford team since Oct. 25, 1986, when Stanford was No. 19. Stanford had won in its last three trips to the Coliseum, including a triple-overtime thriller two years ago, and its last four meetings with USC overall.
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United States Sports Academy Receives $1,000 to Kick Off 2013 Toys For Tots Drive

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From left to right: U.S. Marines Mr. Sam Riley, Mr. Jim Jeffries, Mr. Carl Jozaitis, Mr. Mawk Arnold, Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Mr. Carl Adams, Mr. Donovan Cordell and Academy Registrar Ms. Sara Lee.

The Jesse Andrews Jr. detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League this week donated $1,000 to the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Toys for Tots drive.
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Edward Eyth, Charles Billich Named 2013 Sport Artists of the Year

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Pictured left to right are: 2013 Sport Artist of the Year Charles Billich, Academy Board of Trustees member Jack Scharr, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year Edward Eyth, and Academy Art Committee Chair Nancy Raia.

The American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ (ASAMA) 2013 Sport Artist of the Year are two world-renowned artists who have both created award-winning Olympic art.

American sculptor Edward Eyth and Australian painter Charles Billich were honored at the Academy’s Awards of Sport annual event, “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” held Thursday, Nov. 14 at the university’s Daphne, Ala., campus.  Both honorees received medals and plaques at the celebration.

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Two Leaders in the Olympic Movement Awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Academy

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The United States Sports Academy bestowed Honorary Doctorates on two leaders in the Olympic Movement during its 29th annual Awards of Sport celebration at the Daphne, Ala., campus.

Honored for their achievements were: Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, who successfully reformed the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and transformed boxing; and Dr. Norbert Müller, who is recognized around the world as the leading expert on the founder of the Modern Olympic Games and the Olympics.

Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu (left), International Boxing Association president, receives his Honorary Doctorate award Nov. 15 from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala., as Board of Trustee Chairman Robert C. Campbell III, Esq., (right) congratulates him.

Wu said during his acceptance of the Honorary Doctorate that he his biggest motivation for everything he does is the children of the world.

“My inspiration is the youth,” he said. “I’ve tried to do everything that was in the best interest of the youth and the future.”

Müller’s honor comes on the 150th anniversary of the birth of French baron Pierre de Coubertin, who organized the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The 66-year-old Müller, professor emeritus at Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz where he has taught sport science-related courses since 1976, said one of his passions has been celebrating the life and works of Coubertin, who lived from 1863 to 1937.

“We have an opportunity and duty to preserve the Olympic Movement according to Coubertin’s ideals and ethics, not only for sport, but also for life in the world of the 21st century and for generations to come,” Müller explained.

Wu, a 66-year-old world-renowned architect, also conceived, founded and designed the $61 million Juan Antonio Samaranch Memorial Museum in Tianjin, China to commemorate the memory and legacy of the former International Olympic Committee (IOC) president from 1980 to 2001. Wu, who is from Taiwan, unveiled the memorial in April three years after Samaranch’s death. The 62,000-square-foot museum features the vast majority of Samaranch’s Olympic collection of 16,000 items that he donated to Wu shortly before his death.

Wu has long been involved and embodied the Olympic Movement. As the AIBA president since 2006, he helped to dramatically rid boxing of corruption after replacing the controversial Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan in the role. Wu’s reforms led to arguably the most successfully Olympic boxing competition ever at the 2012 London Games.

Some of his AIBA reforms included increased marketing, new television contracts and the installation of scoreboards to allow fans to see how judges score fights in real time. Wu also has been lauded for bringing about Cuba’s historic first professional boxing bout in more than 50 years and returning the country to the professional boxing circuit.

Wu, an IOC member since 1988 and executive board member since 2012, was a candidate to replace Jacques Rogge as the organization’s president in September. However, Germany’s Thomas Bach earned election.

Dr. Norbert Müller, one of the leading experts on the Olympic Movement, said his Honorary Doctorate was a highlight of his career during the ceremony Nov. 15 at the Academy's Daphne, Ala., campus.

During his bid for IOC president, Wu noted that all the continents except Africa have hosted the Olympic Games and he vowed to help the continent host one in the future. Wu served as part of the evaluation commission for the 2016 Summer Olympics that are being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Müller has served as the president of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee since 2002. His research has primarily focused on Coubertin, exploring his philosophy and values that he instilled into the Olympic Movement and providing historical perspective on the early Games. Müller has published several world-wide recognized publications about the life and works of Coubertin, including “Olympism” that features the writings of the Olympic Games founder.

Müller, who earned his Ph.D at the University of Graz in Austria, has conducted research since 1968 on the Olympic Games, including doing field research at all Olympic Games since 1984.

He is well known for his contributions to furthering Olympic education. In 1974, his article, “What Can Olympic Education Mean to Us” introduced the expression “Olympic education” for the first time in the Olympic and academic worlds. He has supervised 186 master and eight doctoral theses on Olympic issues and guided about 2,500 students to summer courses in ancient Olympia and to all the Olympic Games from 1988 to 2012. In addition, Müller has been invited as a guest professor for Olympic studies at nine universities worldwide, including in China and Canada.

In his home country, Müller has helped create and oversee many Olympic education programs in Germany as a past chairman of that country’s National Olympic Academy.

He serves on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Commission for Culture and Olympic Education. He was also named a lifetime member of the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece. He was a member of the IOC Reform Commission, “IOC 2000,” with other prominent people, such as Henry Kissinger, a former U.S. Secretary of State, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a former United Nations Secretary-General.

Müller also was nominated by Pope Benedict XVI to the Council of Laics of the Vatican, where he serves as an expert for sport and physical education.

Longtime TV Sportscaster Randy Patrick Receives Academy’s Distinguished Service Award

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For his 34 years of contributions to sports news and broadcasting, Randy Patrick will receive a 2013 Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy.

Patrick has been sports director at WKRG News 5, a CBS-affiliate television station in Mobile, Ala., since 1991. The station provides daily coverage of the Gulf Coast.

Randy Patrick, WKRG Sports Director, received his Distinguished Service Award at the United States Sports Academy's 29th annual Awards of Sport in Daphne, Ala.

“It’s an honor to be selected for such a prestigious award and I am very humbled,” Patrick said. “I’ve followed the Academy since its founding and enjoyed the opportunities to get to know Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich throughout the years.”

Patrick plans to accept his award at the Academy’s annual Awards of Sport event, “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” on Nov. 14 at the university’s Daphne, Ala., campus.

In 1979, Patrick’s career began as a radio pioneer at WABF Radio in Fairhope, Ala. In 1980, he moved to WKRG Radio and then went on to WKRG-TV in 1988.

Patrick has received several awards throughout his career for broadcasting excellence, including the John Harris Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mobile Press Club in 2005, the John Finley Award in 2012, and numerous Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) Mobile and Pensacola “Best Sports Anchor” awards and honors.

For an unprecedented 11 years in a row, Patrick has been named Mobile’s favorite sportscaster in the annual Mobile Press-Register’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

Patrick has provided news coverage of many local and national sporting events, including the past four BCS National Championship games, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournaments, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournaments, the Azalea Trail Run, and 17 seasons of Southern League Baseball.

For 33 years, Patrick has covered the Senior Bowl, a yearly college football game held in Mobile, Ala., that features America’s best senior players who are top NFL draft prospects.

Trustees and Honorees Featured at the 29th Annual Academy’s Awards of Sport

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The United States Sports Academy’s 29th Annual Awards of Sport were held Nov. 14-15 on the university’s campus in Daphne, Ala., and featured many prominent sports leaders among the Board of Trustees and honorees.

“In our eyes, each and every one of the trustees and honorees are champions in their own right,” said Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “Thank you most sincerely to everyone who made this a very memorable Awards of Sport celebration.”

The  Academy’s 29th Annual Academy Awards of Sport, with the theme “The Artist and The Athlete,” pays tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport with a few programs on its campus in Daphne, Ala.

This two-day event on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14-15, includes several programs. It kicked off with the “Tribute to The Artist and The Athlete” on Thursday. The show featured world-renowned artists Charles Billich, an Australian painter, and Edward Eyth, a California sculptor. Also, WKRG Sports Director Randy Patrick received his Distinguished Service Award. The event also featured several Olympians with the Pan American Olympians Association led by its president Dr. Liston Bochette III, a Puerto Rican decathlete and bobbsledder in five Olympiads.

Billich was chosen as the American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ 2013 Sport Artist of the Year for the second time, having been honored with the award previously in 2000. Eyth won the 2008 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport and Art Contest with his work, “Balance,” of a gymnast gracefully poised on a balance beam. Patrick is one of the region’s favorite television sportscasters and has won several major journalism awards.

In addition, the Academy hosted a Sport Symposium Friday, Nov. 15 where several prominent sports figures discussed major contemporary issues facing the sport industry. They handled questions on doping, corruption and paying amateur athletes among other issues. The experts, who came from the Olympics, boxing, college athletics and sport art, all shared unique insights.

Finally, the Awards of Sport celebration included the bestowing of Honorary Doctorates on Dr. Norbert Müller, the foremost expert on the Olympic Movement and Modern Olympic Games founder Pierre de Coubertin; and Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, the president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) credited for cleaning up corruption in that sport.

Below are photos of the 2013 award recipients and the 2013 Board of Trustees. To view more photos or download them, please click here.

Pictured above are the Academy’s 2013 Board of Trustees. In the bottom row (left to right) are: Dr. Don C. Wukasch, Austin, Texas; Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Fairhope, Ala.; Robert C. Campbell III, Esq., Chairman, Mobile, Ala.; Dr. Robert M. Goldman, Chicago, Ill.; and Dr. Robert S. Block, Reno, Nev. In the back row (left to right) are: Dr. Lee A. McElroy Jr., Albany, N.Y.; Tom Cafaro, Dudley, Mass.; Randy Smith, Trustee emeritus, Mobile, Ala.; Will Clark, Mobile, Ala.; Dr. Gary Cunningham, Santa Barbara, Calif., Jack Scharr, St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. Marino Niccolai, Mobile, Ala.; and Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Academy President and CEO, Daphne, Ala. Trustees not pictured are: Dr. Milly Cowles, Fairhope, Ala.; Dr. Linda Moore, Unionville, Conn.; and Peter Tichansky, New York, N.Y.

Pictured above are the Academy’s 2013 Honorees and Board of Trustees. In the bottom row (left to right) are: Dr. Norbert Müller (Honorary Doctorate); Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Academy President and CEO; Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu (Honorary Doctorate); Robert C. Campbell III, Esq., Trustee Chairman; and Dr. Don C. Wukasch, (Honorary Doctorate). In the scond row (left to right) are: Edward Eyth (2013 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor); Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Academy Vice President and COO;  Dr. Robert M. Goldman, Trustee; and Dr. Robert S. Block, Trustee. In the back row (left to right) are: Dr. Lee A. McElroy Jr., Trustee; Tom Cafaro, Trustee; Randy Smith, Trustee emeritus; Will Clark, Trustee.; Dr. Gary Cunningham, Trustee; Jack Scharr, Trustee; and Dr. Marino Niccolai, Trustee. Not pictured are honorees: Charles Billich (2013 Sport Artist of the Year, Painter) and Randy Patrick (Distinguished Service Award). Also not pictured are Trustees: Dr. Milly Cowles; Dr. Linda Moore; and Peter Tichansky.

Paying Athletes, Corruption in Boxing, Other Issues Discussed at Academy's Sport Symposium

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The Sport Symposium held during the United States Sports Academy's 29th annual Awards of Sport in Daphne, Ala., included (left to right) Charles Billich, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year in Painting; Dr. Liston Bochette III, former Secretary General of the World Olympians Association; Edward Eyth, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year in Sculpture; Dr. Lee McElroy Jr., longtime college athletics leader; Dr. Norbert Müller, an expert on the Olympic Games, and Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

The United States Sports Academy kicked off the Friday, Nov. 15 portion of the Academy Awards of Sport with a Sport Symposium comprised of several international sport leaders.

The symposium touched on hot button topics in sport including doping, gambling, corruption and the debate about paying college athletes.

The six speakers included:

  • Australian painter Mr. Charles Billich, the Academy’s 2000 and 2013 Sport Artist of the Year;
  • Dr. Liston Bochette III, former Olympic decathlete and bobsledder and current Secretary General of the Pan American Olympics Association;
  • American sculptor Mr. Edward Eyth, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year;
  • Dr. Lee McElroy Jr., an Academy Board of Trustees member, longtime college sports leader and current vice president of athletics and director of intercollegiate athletics at the University at Albany;
  • Dr. Norbert Müller, a Mainz University professor emeritus and world-renowned authority on the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin; and
  • Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, the International Boxing Association president widely credited for cleaning up corruption in the sport.

WKRG Sports Director Randy Patrick moderated the session, leading with questions generated from Academy faculty members and the audience.

One high school student asked Dr. Lee McElroy whether student athletes should be paid.

Dr. Lee McElroy

After verbalizing a firm “yes,” McElroy said, “[This debate] is a lot simpler than amateurism versus professionalism. It really gets down to values.”

One of the things that college and sport does for people, the longtime collegiate sports leader said, is act as an equalizer.

“People come from all walks of life. I went to [University of California at Los Angeles] and came from a huge family. No one in my family had gone to college. In school, I had a guy living on my left who was from Bel Air, Calif., who was wealthy and had been all over the world. The guy on my left was from a middle class family in Kansas. What draws you all together are values.”

The issue in question is how a person is to enjoy their experience in a particular environment when he or she has less than others, he continued. The NCAA will have to first adjust the rules of paying student athletes, McElroy said.

“They have to tweak the rules, not reform or transform them, so that the student-athlete receives more than tuition, books, room and board,” he said. “The SEC, including the guys in Tuscaloosa (Ala.), is putting forth a policy to add $2,000 beyond the scholarship. Some may think that’s not a lot of money. When you’re in college, even today, that’s a lot of money.”

The second step for this reform to succeed is for student athletes to manage the financial resources available to them, including the Pell Grant, private and federal loans, and other monies.

“Once these rules are tweaked, we can get away from the ‘professionalism versus collegiality module and talk about values, lifelong learning, and making meaningful contributions to society, not buying an expensive car or getting thousands of dollars,” he said.

Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu

The question of corrupt judging in international boxing was posed to Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) president of seven years. One of his first charges was to bring transparency and accountability back to the association. Wu said he’s pleased that tremendous changes have been made, for example, in the selection of referee judges.

Judging in boxing is a particularly important topic for AIBA, the International Boxing Association, he said, because eliminating corruption will restore people’s trust in the sport and its administrators.

“All the judges and referees must receive updated training,” Wu said of the new referees hired and paid by AIBA. “They must be certified and meet certain qualifications. There are evaluations of their performances in competition.”

All referee judges are AIBA-appointed and are not part of any national federations, like they were in the past, so they remain absolutely neutral, Wu said.

After the London 2012 Olympic games, boxing moved up from a Group 4 sport to a Group 3 sport, something Wu called exceptionally great for the international boxing circuit.

Edward Eyth

When asked how he conceptualizes Olympic and sport art inspired by the human form, sculptor Edward Eyth responded that he thinks of the most fleeting instants in human motion and attempts to cast them in a bronze sculpture, immortalizing them for generations to come.

He modeled his sculpture, “Balance,” after a gymnast dancing on a balance beam. It won the 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee Sport and Art Contest.

Said Eyth: “I tried to capture that one instance of when she just nailed it, and I tried to convey in her face an expression of satisfaction knowing that she did it.

“To me, that is the beauty of art, when you can capture those moments and create something that has so much emotion and so much backstory. That’s what makes me inspired by athletes.”

Dr. Norbert Müller

Dr. Norbert Müller discussed what he thought that Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympic Movement, would think of today’s Olympics and Paralympics.

“Coubertin would be happy about the games today, especially London [2012] and Beijing [2008],” the Mainz University professor emeritus said. “He would want people to be less spectators and more active in sport.”

Coubertin’s life work was to merge sport and education, and the baron was inspired by a trip in 1889-1890 to sport and academic facilities across the United States, including Mobile, Ala.

“The university athletic programs in the USA, which he witnessed during several study trips from 1889 onwards, amazed him,” Müller said. “Besides visiting the universities in the East of the USA, he also wanted to see an example in the South and, in particular, an example with regards to inter-racial interactions. He wanted to renew the old ideal of ‘body and mind’ with equal importance placed on human education according to the Ancient Greek example.”

To hear more from the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Sport Symposium, check out the video clips available online at the Academy’s YouTube channel.

Stanford Ends Oregon’s Championship Dreams Again to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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For the second year in a row, Stanford ended any hopes Oregon had of playing for a national college football championship.

The physical Cardinal defense manhandled the Ducks high-octane offense, which had averaged 55.6 points per game, holding Oregon scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the game.

Despite a furious rally, No. 5 Stanford defeated No. 3 Oregon, 26-20, in the Pacific 12 Conference game and earned selection as the Week 11 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

The Cardinal beat Oregon, 17-14, in overtime last year and are the only team the Ducks, who have lost to in the past two seasons.

Stanford stuffed Oregon, allowing the Ducks just 62 yards on the ground. Oregon has been held under 200 rushing yards three times in the last two seasons, twice against Stanford. The Ducks failed to score a rushing touchdown against Stanford, which was the first time since the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn on Jan. 10, 2011.

Meanwhile, Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney carried the ball a school-record 45 times for 157 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinal ran 66 times total, rolling up 274 yards on the ground.

In addition, Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan ran for a touchdown and played a mistake-free game as the Cardinal (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) held the ball for 42 1/2 minutes.

Heisman Trophy contender Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s quarterback, was inaccurate and under pressure much of the game. He finished 20-of-34 for 250 yards with a fumble but threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, sandwiched around a blocked field goal return for a TD by Rodney Hardrick to pull the Ducks (8-1, 5-1) within 26-20 with 2:12 left in the game.

Oregon recovered one onside kick but failed to do it twice, as Stanford recovered an onside kick with 2:10 left to play and ran out the clock.

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 season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

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, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Japan Gymnast Kohei Uchimura and Norway Golfer Suzann Pettersen Earn the Academy’s Athlete of the Month Awards for October

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Kohei Uchimura, a Japanese gymnast who won a record fourth world championship, and Suzann Pettersen, a Norwegian golfer who successfully defended her LPGA Taiwan Championship, earned the United States Sports Academy’s Athlete of the Month award for October.

The 24-year-old Uchimura proved he is the greatest gymnast in history by winning a record fourth all-around world title by a whopping 1.958 points at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. The Olympic champion beat Japanese compatriot Ryohei Kato in a final that had a sense of inevitability from the start when Uchimura opened with the best floor exercise of the six top qualifiers.

Kohei Uchimura

Meanwhile, Pettersen, the No. 2 ranked women’s golfer in the world, closed with a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taiwan. Pettersen’s successful defense of her title in the LPGA Taiwan Championship was her fourth tour victory this year and third in her last five starts. She finished at 9-under 279 total in the tournament.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first two weeks of each month to vote for the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.

Finishing second in the men’s category was Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who is from the Dominican Republic. He was an easy selection as the World Series Most Valuable Player, hitting an incredible .688 with two homers and six RBIs. In addition to his 11 hits, Ortiz walked eight times, giving him an on base percentage of .792, the second highest in World Series history. In the postseason, he led all of baseball with five homers and was second in RBIs with 13.

Suzann Pettersen

The runner-up to Pettersen on the women’s ballot was 16-year-old American gymnast Simone Biles. She won the all-around gold medal at the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. She anchored the strongest U.S. team performance in World Championship history, which saw her and her teammates win 12 medals total. Besides the all-around, Biles finished with three more medals in individual events.

Third place winners for October were Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who led the National Hockey League (NHL) in scoring with 21 points—eight goals and 13 assists—in the Penguins’ first 13 games of the 2013 season; and Kerri Walsh, an American beach volleyball player who broke the record for most tournament wins by a female when she won her 113th with teammate April Ross in the women’s final of the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) Xiamen Grand Slam.

Uchimura and Pettersen are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2013 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 29th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.

In 2012, the male Athlete of the Year was Usain Bolt when he became the first man ever to win both the 100- and 200-meter races in successive Olympics. The female Athlete of the Year was American tennis player Serena Williams, who became the singles champion at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics. Both Olympians dominated 2012’s online ballot in December, which drew tens of thousands of votes a day from across the world.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

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