United States professional tennis player, Serena Williams, and the Northern Ireland golf professional, Rory McIlroy, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s August 2014 Athletes of the Month.
Williams defeated Angelique Kerber 7-6, 6-3 to win the Bank of the West Classic and capture her fourth title of the season on August 3 in Stanford, Calif. Williams also captured the ladies Western and Southern Open by defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 on August 17 in Mason, Ohio.
McIlroy claimed his first World Golf Championship Title at Firestone on August 3 in Akron, Ohio. McIlroy closed with a 4-under 66 and finished 15-under 265 for the championship.
The runner-up to Williams in the female division is United States professional swimmer, Katie Ledecky, who broke the world record in the 1500 meter freestyle by 6 seconds at the Pan Pacific Championships on August 23 in Gold Coast, Australia. Ledecky’s world-record time was 15 minutes and 28.36 seconds. She also broke her own world record for the 400-meter freestyle with the time of 3 minutes, 58.37 seconds.
Finishing second in the male division was United States professional swimmer, Michael Phelps. Phelps captured three gold and two silver medals at the Pan Pacific Championships on August 21-25 in Gold Coast, Australia. Phelps earned gold in the 100-meter butterfly, the 4×200-meter relay and the medley relays and silver in the 200 IM and the 4×100-meter relay.
Tied for third place in the female division is the Netherland track and field athlete, Dafne Schipper and the South Korean professional golfer, Inbee Park. Great Britain’s professional track and field athlete, Mo Farah, took third place in the August Male category.
Schipper won the women’s gold medal in both the 100 and 200-meter race at the European Championships that took place on August 12-17 at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland. Schipper finished the 100-meter race in 11.13 seconds. She completed the 200-meter race in 22.03 seconds, a world-leading finish at the time.
Park captured the Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship Title at the Monroe Golf Club on August 17 in Pittsford, N.Y. Park defended her title by beating Brittany Lincicome and finishing 2-under 70 in the final match and 11-under 276 for the championship.
Farah earned the gold medal in both the 5,000 and the 10,000-meter races at the European Championships that took place on August 12-17 at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland.
Williams and McIlroy are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2014 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 30th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.
The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first two weeks of each month to vote for the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.