Public voting is now open for the United States Sports Academy’s coveted 2018 Athlete of the Year Award, a part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program that annually recognizes the top male and female athletes in the world.
The ballot, now available for online voting, is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong selection process through which outstanding accomplishments of men and women in sports from around the globe are recognized. Everyone is encouraged to cast a vote on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu and suggest to friends to vote as well. Voting runs through 5 p.m. Central time on Friday, 18 January 2019. The ballot includes 12 men and 12 women from 15 countries.
Nominees for Male Athlete of the Year include: Mookie Betts, baseball, United States; Novak Djokovic, tennis, Serbia; Kevin Durant, basketball, United States; Martin Fourcade, biathlon, France; Yuzuru Hanyu, figure skating, Japan; Marcel Hirscher, skiing, Austria; Eliud Kipchoge, running, Kenya; Brooks Koepka, golf, United States; Patrick Mahomes, football, United States; Luka Modric, soccer, Croatia; Michael Norman, track and field, United States; and Alex Ovechkin, hockey, Russia.
Nominees for Female Athlete of the Year include: Simone Biles, gymnastics, United States; Marit Bjorgen, cross country skiing, Norway; Jessie Diggins, cross country skiing, United States; Simona Halep, tennis, Romania; Katinka Hosszu, swimming, Hungary; Caterine Ibarguen, track and field, Colombia; Ariya Jutanugarn, golf, Thailand; Chloe Kim, snowboarding, United States; Ester Ledecka, skiing and snowboarding, Czech Republic; Marta, soccer, Brazil; Mikaela Shiffrin, skiing, United States; Breanna Stewart, basketball, United States.
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.
Monthly and annual winners are announced on the Academy’s website, social media, and in the monthly e-newsletter, The Sport Update, as well as released to sports media around the world.
The 2017 Athletes of the Year were American football player Tom Brady and South Korean golfer Sung Hyun Park.
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.