2014 ATHLETE OF THE YEAR BALLOT

Male Nominees

Viktor Ahn, Short-Track Speed Skater, Russia
Russian short-track speed skater, Viktor Ahn, captured three Gold Medals in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Ahn earned his medals in the men’s short track 1000-meter race in the winning time 1:24:102, the men’s 500-meter race in 41.312 seconds, and in the men’s 5000-meter relay. In addition to these Gold Medals, he earned the Bronze Medal in the men’s 1500-meter race.

Novak Djokovic, Tennis, Serbia
Serbian professional tennis player, Novak Djokovic, won his fourth Sony Open Title on Sunday, 30 March 2014, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Djokovic defeated the number-one player, Rafael Nadal, with a 6-3, 6-3 win. In addition, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 to win the 2014 Wimbledon singles title in London, England on July 6, 2014. The win was his second Wimbledon title and seventh grand slam title.

Clayton Kershaw, Baseball, United States
Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies on June 19th. In the 8-0 victory over the Rockies, Kershaw had a career-high 15 strikeouts. For the month of June, he finished with a perfect 6-0 record. Kershaw was the first MLB pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1968 to receive the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season.

Dennis Kimetto, Marathon Runner, Kenya
Kenyan marathon runner, Dennis Kimetto, shattered the marathon world record by 26 seconds with the winning time of 2:02:57 seconds at the 41st BMW Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, on September 28, 2014.

Peyton Manning, Football, United States
Professional football player and Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, surpassed former Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Farve, to become the National Football League’s career leader in touchdown passes with 510 and counting on October 20, 2014.

Lionel Messi, Football, Argentina
Barcelona professional football player, Lionel Messi, broke the career-scoring record in La Liga, widely regarded as one of the best soccer leagues in the world, on November 25, 2014. Messi broke the record with his 27th hat trick, three goals in one game, in La Liga play, giving him a total of 253 La Liga goals. Messi’s hat trick also led Barcelona to a victory over their rivals, Real Madrid, at the El Clásico on March 29, 2014. Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 4-3.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing, United States
Professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. defeated Marcos Maidana with a majority decision 117-111, 116-112, 114-114 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 3, 2014. The victory for Mayweather, Jr., unified the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight belts and improved his record to 46-0.

Rory McIlroy, Golf, Northern Ireland
Professional golfer Rory McIlroy won the 2014 Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Merseyside, England, on July 20, 2014. McIlroy shot a 1-under 71 in the final round of the tournament to win by two strokes. His total for the tournament was 17-under 271. McIlroy also claimed his first World Golf Championship Title at Firestone on August 3, 2014, in Akron, Ohio. He closed with a 4-under 66 and finished 15-under 265 for the championship.

Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain
Spanish professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, won the men’s French Open in Paris, France, by defeating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 and 6-4 on June 8, 2014. The victory for Nadal was his record ninth French Open title and was his 14th Grand Slam title. He holds a 66-1 record at the French Open all-time.

Manny Pacquiao, Boxing, Philippines
Professional boxer, Manny Pacquiao, defeated Chris Algieri by unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Organization Welterweight Championship in Macau, China.
Michael Wardian, Marathon Runner, United States
United States marathoner Michael Wardian has established himself as one of best marathoners and ultra-marathoners in the world. Having run in numerous marathons over the past decade, Wardian is an eight-time USA Track and Field Ultra Runner of the Year. He also won the first ever “Dopey Challenge” at Walt Disney World on January 28, 2014.

Bubba Watson, Golf, United States
Professional golfer, Bubba Watson, won the 2014 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., on April 10, 2014. Watson shot a 3-under par 69 to win by three shots, and finished at 8-under 280. Watson also earned the Masters Golf Tournament title in 2012.

Female Nominees

Valerie Adams, Shot put, New Zealand
Adams was named the 2014 IAAF female athlete of the year. She was the only athlete in the world to win at all seven IAAF Diamond League events in any discipline and was a clear winner of the women’s shot put Diamond Race. Adams, 30, may have thrown farther in previous seasons than she did in 2014, but the Olympic champion added a ninth senior global title to her collection when she successfully defended her world indoor crown in Sopot, Poland and triumphed at the Commonwealth Games.

Abebech Bekele, Marathon Runner, Ethiopia
Ethiopian marathoner, Abebech Bekele, won her first marathon in January 2014 with a time of 2:25:52 in the Women’s Chevron Houston Marathon. In the past, Bekele represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships as well as the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Genzebe Dibaba, Long-Distance Runner, Ethiopia
Genzebe Dibaba, an Ethiopian middle and long-distance runner, set three separate world records within 15 days. The first record, which Dibaba beat by three seconds, is the 1500 meter world record with a time of 3:55:17. The second record was broken in the women’s indoor 3000 meters by nearly seven seconds with a time of 8:55:04. Dibaba also broke the two-mile record with a time of 9:00:48, which is nearly six seconds less than the previous record holder.

Lydia Ko, Golf, New Zealand
Professional golfer, Lydia Ko, captured the season-ending Ladies Professional Golf Association CMW Group Tour Championship at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla, on Sunday, November 23, 2014. Ko shot a final round 68 and finished 10-under 278 to defeat Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Granada. In winning the tournament, Ko also attained the inaugural race to the CME Globe and a million dollar bonus.

Petra Kvitova, Tennis, Czech Republic
Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic professional tennis player, Petra Kvitova, defeated Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 to win her second Wimbledon women’s title in the singles division on July 5, 2014, in London, England. Kvitova captured her first Wimbledon title in 2011.

Katie Ledecky, Swimming, United States
Swimmer Katie Ledecky broke the world record in the 1500 meter freestyle by 6 seconds at the Pan Pacific Championships on August 23 in Gold Coast, Australia. Ledecky’s world-record time was 15 minutes and 28.36 seconds. She also broke her own world record for the 400-meter freestyle with the time of 3 minutes, 58.37 seconds.

Park Seung-hi, Short-track Speed Skater, South Korea
Olympic short-track speed skater, Park Seung-hi, earned two Gold Medals and one Bronze Medal during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Seung-hi received the Gold Medal in the ladies’ 1000-meter race in the winning time of 1:00:761, and the ladies’ 3000-meter relay in the winning time of 4:09:498. Seung-hi’s Bronze Medal was earned in the 500 meter ladies’ finals.

Maria Sharapova, Tennis, Russia
Russian Tennis player, Maria Sharapova, defeated Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to capture the Madrid Open Championship title in Madrid, Spain, on May 11, 2014. She also won the 2014 French Open Championship with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory over Simona Halep. It was her 2nd French Open title and 5th Grand Slam win.

Breanna Stewart, Basketball, United States
Breanna Stewart, forward at the University of Connecticut, averaged 20.8 points and 6.2 rebounds and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the women’s NCAA Final Four. This was her second consecutive Final Four MOP award. She was also the 2014 Naismith winner as the National Player of the Year.

Diana Taurasi, Basketball, United States
Professional basketball player Diana Taurasi, scored an incredible 14 points in a fourth-quarter comeback against the Chicago Sky during the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Finals on September 12, 2014. Taurasi lead the Phoenix Mercury to a three-game sweep and their third WNBA title.

Michelle Wie, Golf, United States
United States professional golfer, Michelle Wie, won the U.S. Women’s Open Title on June 22, 2014, in Pinehurst, N.C. Wie finished the tournament 2-under 278 with a two-stroke victory over the number-one ranked Stacy Lewis. The victory was her first major-title win.

Serena Williams, Tennis, United States
United States Tennis player Serena Williams defeated Angelique Kerber 7-6, 6-3 to win the Bank of the West Classic and capture her fourth title of the season on August 3, 2014; in Stanford, Calif. Williams also captured the ladies Western and Southern Open by defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 on August 17, 2014 in Mason, Ohio. In addition, she defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3 to win her 6th US Open Championship Title on September 8, 2014, in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

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