Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu and Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for November.
Hanyu set a men’s short program world record with a score of 106.69 at the International Skating Union Figure Skating Grand Prix in Helsinki on 3 November 2018.
Zagitova scored 80.78 points during her short program at the Gran-Prix Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on 17 November, which broke the world record she previously set with 79.93 points earlier in 2018.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was German tennis player Alexander Zverev and third place went to Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa.
Zverev defeated Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 to win the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Finals in London on 18 November 2018. Zverev also defeated Swiss star Roger Federer in the semifinals to reach the championship round.
Desisa won the New York City Marathon on 4 November 2018 with a time of 2:05:48. It was the first title for Desisa, who narrowly defeated compatriot Shura Kitata by just two seconds.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American gymnast Simone Biles and third place went to Kenyan runner Mary Keitany.
Biles won six medals – including four gold – at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Qatar on 3 November 2018. Biles equaled the women’s record for total World Championship medals with 20, tying Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina. Biles also became the first gymnast in three decades to win a medal in each event in which she competed at the event.
Keitany won the New York City Marathon on 4 November 2018 with a time of 2:22:48, the second fastest time ever run by a woman in the race. Keitany won the marathon for the fourth time in the last five years.
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.
The Athlete of the Year Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport program, which each year serves as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport.
The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 34th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.