The United States Sports Academy has announced its Athlete of the Month ballot for January and public voting is in progress. Following the selection committee’s meeting, 12 candidates – six male and six female – from six countries comprise the list.
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.
Everyone is encouraged to cast a vote on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu and have friends do the same. The full ballot is listed along with bios of what each athlete accomplished during the month. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. Central time on Thursday, 14 February 2019.
Male nominees are Johannes Thingnes Bø, biathlon, Norway; Nathan Chen, figure skating, United States; Novak Djokovic, tennis, Serbia; Mikkel Hansen, handball, Denmark; James Harden, basketball, United States; and Trevor Lawrence, football, United States.
Female nominees are Alysa Liu, figure skating, United States; Katelyn Ohashi, gymnastics, United States; Naomi Osaka, tennis, Japan; Kelly Sildaru, skiing, Estonia; Fanny Smith, ski cross, Switzerland; and Elana Meyers Taylor, bobsled, United States.
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.