Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and University of Oklahoma softball slugger Joceyn Alo impressed on the biggest stages in their sports in June and were named the United States Sports Academy’s Athletes of the Month.
Nadal won his 14th Roland Garros title and 22nd Grand Slam trophy after defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in the championship round in Paris on 5 June 2022. He has now won two more Grand Slams than rival greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Alo earned Women’s College World Series MVP honors after finishing 12-for-18 with five home runs and 13 RBIs as the Sooners defeated Texas for the NCAA college softball championship in June. She also contributed four home runs and 10 RBIs in the NCAA regional and super regional rounds as the Sooners won their second consecutive national championship.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis and third place went to English golfer Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Duplantis cleared 6.16 meters and added one centimeter to the highest ever outdoor vault on 30 June 2022 in Stockholm at the Wanda Diamond League meet.
Fitzpatrick won his first major championship after shooting a 6-under-par 274 to capture the U.S. Open title on 19 June 2022 in Boston. Fitzpatrick shot three rounds of 68 and sunk two birdies on the back nine in the final round to hold off American Will Zalatoris for the title.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American swimmer Katie Ledecky and third place went to Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek.
Ledecky captured her 19th career International Swimming Federation (FINA) gold medal at the World Championships in Budapest on 24 June 2022. Ledecky won the race by more than 10 seconds with a time of 8:08.03 and became the first swimmer to win gold in five consecutive World Championships in the same event.
Swiatek won her second Grand Slam title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over American Coco Gauff at the French Open on 4 June 2022. It was Swiatek’s 35th consecutive victory, tying Venus Williams’ 21st century record.
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, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 37th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.