A pair of top American athletes have won the United States Sports Academy’s contest for April Male and Female Athlete of the Month. Golfer Tiger Woods won the men’s award while gymnast Morgan Hurd took home the women’s honor.
Woods shot a 13-under 275 to capture the Masters championship on 14 April 2019 in Augusta, Ga. It was the fifth Masters title and 15th major championship for Woods, but first in 11 years.
Hurd won gold in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) All-Around World Cup championship in Tokyo on 7 April 2019. Hurd scored 55.099 total points to capture the second World Cup win of her career.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was American baseball player Cody Bellinger and third place went to American gymnast Sam Mikulak.
The Los Angeles outfielder, Bellinger hit a league best .427 average with 21 extra base hits, 36 RBI, 30 runs and 14 home runs for the Dodgers in the first month of play for Major League Baseball. Bellinger finished the month with the most RBI and extra base hits in the majors and was also tied for the most home runs.
Mikulak won gold in the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) All-Around World Cup championship in Tokyo on 7 April 2019. Mikulak scored 86.599 points to hold on for his first major international victory since 2015.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was Slovenian sport climber Janja Garnbret and third place went to American sport shooter Kim Rhode.
Garnbret swept all three International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Bouldering events in April. Garnbret took the top spot in Switzerland on 6 April, Moscow on 14 April, and Chonqing, China on 28 April. Garnbret also led the standings after the qualification and semi-final rounds at each stop, despite the loaded women’s fields.
Rhode won her 20th International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup medal in women’s skeet in the United Arab Emirates on 14 April 2019. Rhode hit 53 of 60 targets in the final to capture gold.
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 34th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.