Athlete of the Month Ballot

August 2021

Male

Kevin Durant, basketball, United States
American forward Kevin Durant earned MVP honors as Team USA won the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament at Tokyo 2020 in August. Durant averaged 20.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists to lead the Americans to gold and scored 29 in the 83-76 finals win against France.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, athletics, Norway
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the gold medal while setting an Olympic and European record with a time of 3:28.32 in the men’s 1,500-meter final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August.

Eliud Kipchoge, marathon, Kenya
Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge repeated as the Olympic men’s marathon champion with a time of 2:08:38 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Kipchoge’s winning margin of 1:20 was the widest in an Olympic marathon since Frank Shorter’s win in 1972.

Matt Turner, football (soccer), United States
Matt Turner earned Golden Glove honors as the best goalkeeper in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament as his United States men’s national team won the title. Turner started all six matches for the US and recorded five shutouts, including a 1-0 win for the Americans against Mexico in the final.

Karsten Warholm, athletics, Norway
Norway’s Karsten Warholm set a world record and won gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Warholm broke his own world record with a time of 45.94 seconds to hold off American rival Rai Benjamin in the final.

Damian Warner, decathlon, Canada
Canada’s Damian Warner set an Olympic record with 9,018 points and won the men’s decathlon title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Warner became just the fourth man ever to break the 9,000-point barrier, joining decathlon legends Roman Sebrle, Ashton Eaton, and Kevin Mayer in that elite category.

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Female

Janja Garnbret, sport climbing, Slovenia
Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret became sport climbing’s first female Olympic champion with a low score of 5 points in the inaugural event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Garnbret was the only climber to reach the top of any of the competition bouldering walls and she reached a top hold of 37+ on the climbing wall for first place in that event.

Nelly Korda, golf, United States
American Nelly Korda shot a 17-under par 269 and won gold in the women’s golf tournament at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Korda became the first golfer to win the Olympic title and a major championship – the Women’s PGA Championship – in the same year.

Sydney McLaughlin, athletics, United States
America’s Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world record and the Olympic record and won gold with a time of 51.46 seconds in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. McLaughlin held off compatriot Dalilah Muhammad, whose time of 51.58 would have also broken McLaughlin’s previous record of 51.90. McLaughlin was also part of the American 4 x 400-meter relay gold medal team.

Yulimar Rojas, athletics, Venezuela
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas set a world record and won gold in the triple jump at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Rojas cleared a record distance of 15.67 meters and broke the 1995 world record held by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets.

Nafissatou Thiam, heptathlon, Belgium
Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam became just the second woman ever to successfully defend an Olympic combined events title, winning her second consecutive heptathlon gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Thiam’s 6,791 points were the most scored this season.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, athletics, Jamaica
Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah won 200-meter gold and was part of her nation’s gold-medal 4 x 100 meter relay team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in August. Later in the month, Thompson-Herah won the 100-meter race with the second-fastest time in history – 10.54 seconds – at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. She also won the 100-meters at the Paris Diamond League meet in August.