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 from eight countries comprise the list.
Everyone is encouraged to cast a vote on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. Central time on Thursday, 13 February 2020.
Male nominees are Giannis Antetokounmpo, basketball, Greece; Joe Burrow, football, United States; Nathan Chen, figure skating, United States; Scotty James, snowboarding, Australia; Rhonex Kipruto, athletics, Kenya; and Justin Thomas, golf, United States.
Female nominees are Worknesh Degefa, marathon, Ethiopia; Marita Kramer, ski jumping, Austria; Madelene Sagstrom, golf, Sweden; Mikaela Shiffrin, alpine skiing, United States; Kelly Sildaru, freestyle skiing, Estonia; and Jennifer Valente, cycling, 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.
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 36th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.