American figure skaters Nathan Chen and Bradie Tennell won U.S. Figure Skating titles and earned the United States Sports Academy’s Athlete of the Month honors for January.
Chen, the two-time Academy Male Athlete of the Year, won his fifth consecutive U.S. Figure Skating title after scoring 322.28 points in the event on 17 January 2021 in Las Vegas. Chen is the first man since Dick Button (1948-52) to win five at least consecutive U.S. championships.
Tennell captured her second career U.S. Figure Skating title after scoring 232.61 total points in the event in Las Vegas on 15 January 2021. Tennell’s 79.40 points in the women’s short program broke her previous U.S. record set when she won the U.S. title in 2018.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Norwegian ski jumper Halvor Egner Granerud and third place went to American football star DeVonta Smith.
Granerud captured his seventh Ski Jumping World Cup victory of the season with a total score of 285.5 points in the event in Willingen, Germany, on 30 January 2021.
Smith set seven school, conference, and College Football Playoff records after catching 12 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns in just the first half of play in a 52-24 win for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide over Ohio State on 11 January 2021.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American speed skater Brittany Bowe and third place went to American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.
Bowe swept the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter World Cup races in the Netherlands on 31 January 2021 and captured the abbreviated long track season titles in both distances. Bowe now has five season titles at the 1,000 distance, including each of the last three, as well as three at 1,500.
Shiffrin won her 100th World Cup podium finish and 68th career gold medal at the FIS event in Austria on 12 January 2021, giving her sole possession of third place on the all-time win list for both men and women. She passed Austria’s Marcel Hirsher for third place and trails only Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark (86) and fellow American Lindsey Vonn (82) on the career win list.
Each month, the public is invited to participate in the Academy’s worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first week of every month. The online votes are used to guide the Academy selection committee in choosing the male and female monthly winners, who then become eligible for selection to the prestigious Athlete of the Year ballot. A worldwide public vote on the annual ballot is used to guide the committee in making the final selection.