Keeping Up with Athlete of the Month Candidates

Throughout each month, members of the United States Sports Academy faculty and staff suggest candidates to be considered for the Athlete of the Month ballot that comes out the first Thursday of the following month for a worldwide online vote.

Viewers are welcome to submit their own candidates for consideration, and, if so inclined, they could take a look at this month’s current list that will be presented to the ballot-creating committee.

Here is the link to make your suggestion:

Here is the list of candidates, with accompanying bios, up to this point:


  1. Jean-Frederic Chapuis – Skiing – France
    A gold medal winner in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and the 2013 World Championships, he collected the men’s overall title in the Ski-Cross World Cup event March 14 in Megeve, France.
  2. He Chong – Diving – China
    The 27-year-old took gold in the 3-meter springboard at the International Swimming Federation Diving World Series event March 14 at the Water Cube in Beijing, racking up 551.50 points. He is a former Olympic champion and multi-time world champion, with the 3-meter competition being his specialty.
  3. Novak Djokovic – Tennis – Serbia
    The No. 1-ranked player in the world defeated No. 2 Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to win his fourth BNP Paribas Open, tying him with Federer for the most titles in the desert after winning for the second straight year. Djokovic, ranked No. 1 in the world, and No. 2 Federer met for the 38th time, second-most among rivalries in the Open era. Federer leads the series 20-18 and had won three of their last four meetings going into the final.
  4. Eddie Hall – Weight Lifting – United Kingdom
    The British strongman set a dead lift world record at the Arnold Classic in Australia March 17, picking up 1,018.5 pounds. A champion swimmer in his youth, Hall has been crowned the United Kingdom’s Strongest Man 2011, 2012 and 2013 and Britain’s Strongest Man 2014 and 2015. His top placing in world competition is sixth.
  5. Semen Elistratov – Speed Skating – Russia
    The 24-year-old earned the men’s 1,500-meter gold medal at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Moscow March 14 in a photo finish. Elistratov edged Dutchman standout Sjinkie Knegt, the 2015 European champion, and Canada’s Charles Hamelin, the Olympic gold medalist in the same event. Elistratov was part of the 5,000-meter relay winner at the 2014 Sochi Games.
  6. Eric Frenzel – Skiing – Germany
    The 26-year-old claimed his third consecutive overall International Ski Federation Nordic Combined World Cup March 14 in Oslo, Norway. In 2015, he has won seven individual event competitions in World Cup action.
  7. Severin Freund – Ski Jump – West Germany
    The 26-year-old earned his fourth consecutive victory March 15 in Oslo, Norway, thanks to jumps of 433 and 420 feet, to inch closer to an overall Ski Jumping World Cup title. He previously won in Kuopio, Finland and Trondheim, Norway, and the season concludes.
  8. Martin Guptill – Cricket – New Zealand
    The 28-year-old made a world record for the highest score ever in World Cup history with 237. This score is also the second best in one-day international history behind Rohit Sharma’s 264.
  9. Josh Hancott – Powerlifting – Canada
    The 21-year-old smashed four world records in his weight class (163 pounds) March 8 at the Arnold Sports Festival, squatting 573 pounds, both an open and junior world record, bench pressing 374 pounds, and posting a combined total of 1,520 pounds in all three lifts — squat, bench press and deadlift.
  10. Marcel Hirscher – Skiing – Austria
    January’s Male Athlete of the Month continued his strong winter season, winning the giant slalom crystal globe at the Alpine Skiing World Cup event in Kransjska Gora, Slovenia. The victory is the four-time world champion’s first title in the discipline since 2012. He also remains in good position to remain overall World Cup champion this year.
  11. Frank Kaminsky – Basketball – United States
    A 7-foot senior for the University of Wisconsin, he spearheaded the Badgers’ stretch run in the regular season that yielded six wins this month, a Big Ten regular-season title, a conference tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the West bracket of the NCAA Tournament. Kaminsky, one of the favorites for every national college player of the year award, averaged 20.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals during that run. He led Wisconsin to the Final Four last season.
  12. Sjinkie Knegt – Speed Skating – Netherlands
    The three-time world champion won the men’s 3,000-meter super final at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Moscow March 15 to seal his country’s first individual classification title since 1988. He earned a bronze in the 1,000-meter race at the 2014 Sochi Games, the first medal ever by the Dutch in short-track Olympic competition.
  13. David Kostelecky – Shooting – Czech Republic
    Beijing 2008 Olympic champion David Kostelecky landed men’s trap event title on day two of the International Scooting Sport Federation World Cup in Al Ain.
  14. Janne Korpi – Snowboard – Finland
    He clinched the overall World Cup March 14 with a second-place finish during an event at Spinleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic. The 29-year-old has been a two-time Olympian, representing his homeland in both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.
  15. Henrik Kristoffersen – Skiing – Norway
    The 20-year-old earned his second World Cup slalom victory of the season in the Slovenian resort of Kranjska Gora on March 15. The win pushed him up to third in the slalom World Cup standings. He is no stranger to success, having claimed six Junior Ski World Championship crowns.
  16. Pavel Kulizhnikov – Speed Skating – Russia
    He secured two Speed Skating World Cup titles at the World Cup Finals in Erfurt. Having raced 500 meters gold at the 2015 World Single Distance Championship in Heerenveen, he claimed the World Cup title with victory in the sixth and final leg of the season.
  17. Renaud Lavillenie – Pole-vaulter – France
    The pole-vaulting Olympic champion won the crown for the European Indoor Championship with a jump of 6.04 meter vault on March 7. This is the fourth straight European Indoor Championship title for the 28-year-old pole-vaulter.
  18. Mario Mola – Triathelete – Spain
    Super Mario claimed the series opener of the World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi on March 7, earning his second-ever World Triathlon Series title with a time of 52 minutes and 32 seconds.
  19. Ruslan Nakonechnyi – Pentathlete – Latvia
    He came back from a mediocre beginning at the International Modern Pentathlon Union to secure a surprise win. During the second shooting round and running look he took control to establish an unassailable lead and take the World Cup.
  20. Cristiano Ronaldo – Soccer – Portugal
    He made two headers for Real Madrid soccer team during the European Champions League tournament, breaking a tie with opposing team and ensuring his place as the record goal scorer in European football competitions.
  21. Jordan Speith – Golf – United States
    The 21-year-old from Dallas won the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., in a three-way playoff Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair, securing the victory on the third extra hole by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt. The win was his second on the PGA Tour for the 2013 Presidents Cup and 2014 Ryder Cup member.
  22. Russell Westbrook – Basketball – United States
    As if a February in which he averaged nearly a triple-double per game wasn’t spectacular enough, the four-time NBA all-star actually has increased his numbers in March, averaging 33.9 points, 10.1 assists and 9.6 rebounds through his first eight games this month. He’s also averaging 2.9 steals per game in carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder into playoff contention.
  23. Akito Watabe – Ski Jump – Japan
    He finished the International Ski Federation Nordic Combined Cup, claiming a World Cup victory in the final event of the season March 14 in Olso, Norway. That marked his second World Cup win of the month, having emerged victorious March 6 in Lahti, Finland.


  1. Laura Asadauskaite – Pentathalete – Lithuania
    The 31-year-old Lithuanian pentathlete came from behind at the Internatinoal Modern Pentathlon to secure herself a World Cup silver medal. She fought back from a 31-second deficit to claim the triumph thanks to an excellent performance in the combined running and shooting event.
  2. Timea Bacsinszky – Tennis – Switzerland
    The 25-year-old rallied to defeat Caroline Garcia 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 and win her second straight WTA Tour title in Mexico on March 9.
  3. Simone Biles – Gymnastics – United States
    The 17-year-old claimed first place in gymnastics at the American Cup Texas March 7. This is her first America Cup victory, and it was quite impressive as she finished nearly 4.5 points ahead of the second-place finisher.
  4. Marit Bjoergen – Skiing – Norway
    She became the first woman to capture all three Cross Country Skiing World Cup crystal globes – sprint, distance and overall – twice after finishing the season with a victory in Oslo on March 15. Bjoergen first accomplished the feat during the 2004-05 season, an effort only matched by Finland’s Virpi Kuitunen and Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk.
  5. Jolien D’Hoore – Cyclist – Belgium
    She sprinted to victory at the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands to celebrate her 25th birthday and kick off the 2015 International Cycling Union Women’s Road World Cup. She is a former junior world champion and two-time national road race champion.
  6. Szaundra Diedrich – Judo – Germany
    Sealed her maiden International Judo Federating Grand Prix title as she beat Olympic bronze medalist Gevrise Emane in the women’s under 77 kilograms (170 lbs) category in Tblisi, Georgia.
  7. Kaitlin Donner – Triathlete – America
    Claimed her maiden International Triathlon Union World Cup gold medal with a win in New Plymouth New Zealand. The 25-year-old found herself in the leading pack for the majority of the cycling and running sections and ensured her title on the final lap.
  8. Simona Halep – Tennis – Romania
    The 3rd-ranked player in the world, she beat Jelena Jankovic (ranked 17 in world) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the women’s final of the BNP Paribas Open, giving the Romanian the biggest title of her career and a WTA Tour-leading third tournament victory of the year.
  9. Anna Holmlund – Skiing – Sweden
    A regular at winning World Cup events, Holmlund earned her third overall victory in such a setting at the Ski-Cross March 14 in Megeve, France. In single-event competition, she can claim 10 titles. The 27-year-old took bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games.
  10. Mima Ito – Table Tennis – Japan
    The youngest-ever women’s singles champion on the ITTF World Tour when the 14-year-old Japanese prodigy won the German Open in Bremen on Sunday. Ito was 14 years and 152 days old when she twice came from behind to beat Petrissa Solja 4-2 (9-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7, 14-12, 12-10) in a dramatic final. She shocked World No. 4 Feng Tianwei of Singapore in the semi-finals on her way to a first World Tour title, despite only being ranked World No. 38.
  11. Gwen Jorgensen – Triathlete – United States
    The 28-year-old, two-time USA Triathlon Olympic/ITU Female Athlete of the Year claimed her sixth straight World Triathlon Series even on March 7 in Abu Dhabi. She won gold at the 2014 World Championships.
  12. Cheryl Maas – Snowboarder – Netherlands
    She was crowned International Ski Federation snowboard freestyle World Cup champion by winning the women’s slopestyle event at Spinieruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic. The 30-year-old competed in the 2006 Winter Games.
  13. Inbee Park – Golf – South Korea
    The 26-year-old won the 2015 HSBC Women’s Champions at the Sentosa Golf Club, The Serapong Course in Singapore. She had a wire-to-wire victory, shooting 15-under 273 to win. She had rounds of 66, 69, 68 and 70.
  14. Shi Tingmao – Diving – China
    The two-time world champion dominated in the 3-meter springboard at the International Swimming Federation Diving World Series event March 14 at the Water Cube in Beijing, leading from start to finish and compiling a point total of 389.60. It was her first title in the series since taking the 3-meter synchronized springboard in 2013 at Barcelona. Previously, she won a series 1-meter springboard gold in 2011 at Shanghai.
  15. Lindsey Vonn – Skiing – United States
    She got back to her winning ways this month, grabbing her 23rd Women’s World Cup Super-G event March 8 at Garmisch-Parteknkirchen, Germany, and then her seventh world cup downhill title March 16 at Meribel, France. Already the all-time leader in world-cup wins for women, these victories pushed her total to 66. The 18th crystal globe she clinched March 16 is a women’s record as well.
  16. Kendell Williams – Track and Field – United States
    The University of Georgia sophomore won her third career individual title at the 2015 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Williams set collegiate, meet and facility records in the pentathlon by scoring 4,678 points. She led the Bulldogs to a third-place finish and proved herself to be one of the best multi-event athletes in the U.S., with the potential to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.
  17. Caroline Wozniacki – Tennis – Denmark
    The 24-year-old rallied to defeat Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 and win the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has won 23 titles during her career.
  18. Amy Yang – Golf – South Korea
    She won the 2015 Honda LPGA Thailand held at the Saim Country Club, Pattaya Old Course in Chonburi, Thailand. She posted a 3-under 69 in the last round for a two-stroke victory. She finished 15-under 273.
  19. Lizzy Yarnold – Bobsleigh – United Kingdom
    She won the skeleton World Championship Title held in Winterberg, Germany. She was the quickest in all four of her runs with a combined time of 3 minutes, 49.95 seconds.

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