American wrestler Jordan Burroughs and WNBA star Kahleah Copper are the United States Sports Academy’s Athletes of the Month after online voters worldwide recognized their achievements on the world stage in the month of October.

Burroughs won his fifth world title after defeating Iran’s Mohammad Ashghar Nokhodilarimi for gold in the 79 kg weight class at the World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway, on 4 October 2021. Burroughs joined John Smith – who won two Olympic titles and four world titles – as the most successful wrestlers in U.S. history.

The Chicago Sky guard, Copper averaged 18.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2 assists in the postseason and earned WNBA Finals MVP honors after scoring 21, 15, 22, and 10 points in the championship series sweep for the Sky against the Phoenix Mercury in October.

The second place finisher on the men’s side was English boxer Tyson Fury and third place went to American swimmer Tom Shields.

Fury defeated American Deontay Wilder by eleventh round knockout to retain his WBC and Ring heavyweight titles in a bout in Las Vegas on 9 October 2021. Fury landed 150 punches, the most ever recorded against Wilder.

Shields broke Caeleb Dressel’s national record in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 21.99 seconds at the 2021 Budapest International Swimming Federation World Cup on 9 October 2021. Shields became the first American to swim the event under 22 seconds and broke Dressel’s record by 0.05 seconds.

The second place finisher on the women’s side was American wrestler Helen Maroulis and third place went to Russian rhythmic gymnast Dina Averina.

Maroulis won her third world title after defeating India’s Anshu Malik in the 57 kg weight class finals at the World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway, on 7 October 2021. Maroulis pinned her opponent with two minutes left in the final match to capture her fifth career world championship medal.

Averina made history as the most successful Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships athlete after winning gold in the all-around final in Japan on 30 October 2021. The win was Averina’s 18th overall gold medal since her debut in 2017, eclipsing compatriot Evgeniya Kanaeva’s record that stood for a decade.

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.