After their impressive performances in the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, American swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky were voted the United States Sports Academy’s Athletes of the Month for July.
Dressel became just the fourth man in history to win five gold medals in a single Olympics after finishing with wins in the 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle, 4×100-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter medley events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July. He broke his own world record in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 49.25 seconds and set Olympic records in both the 100-meter freestyle (47.02 seconds) and 50-meter freestyle (21.07 seconds).
Ledecky won two gold and two silver medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July. Ledecky won her third consecutive 800-meter freestyle Olympic gold with a time of 8:12.57 and also won the 1500-meter freestyle with a time of 15.37.34. She took silver in the 400-meter freestyle and the 4×200-meter freestyle. This is the second consecutive Athlete of the Month honor for Ledecky, who earned that distinction for the month of June.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani and third place went to Ethiopian runner Selemon Barega.
Ohtani, the Angels two-way player, earned American League Player of the Month honors for July 2021 after producing nine home runs, 19 RBIs, 16 walks and a .282/.396/.671 slash line in 23 games at the plate. He also pitched for a 1.35 ERA with 17 strikeouts and just one walk in 20 innings of work in the month. Also the June Player of the Month, Ohtani is the first back-to-back monthly honoree in the majors since 2012.
Barega captured the men’s 10,000-meter gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July. Barega, 21, held off Ugandan favorites Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplomo to win gold. The Ethiopian finished the final thousand meters in an Olympic record time of 2:25.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American gymnast Sunisa Lee and third place went to Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.
Lee won the women’s gymnastics all-around gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July with a total score of 57.433. Lee is the fifth consecutive American woman to win the Olympics all-around title.
Thompson-Herah won her second consecutive women’s 100-meter title with a time of 10.61 seconds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July. Thompson-Herah’s time set an Olympic record as she held off compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, who completed an all-Jamaica podium sweep in the event. Thompson-Herah also won the women’s 200-meter gold medal.
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.