DAPHNE, Ala. – History’s most decorated gymnast and one of the world’s fastest men have been named the United States Sports Academy’s male and female Athletes of the Month for August.
American gymnast Simone Biles was named the Academy’s female Athlete of the Month after winning her sixth United States all-around title and earning three gold medals and a bronze medal at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships in August 2019. She also became the first woman to successfully complete a triple twisting double somersault on the floor exercise and a double twisting double somersault dismount off the balance beam.
American sprinter Noah Lyles won the men’s Athlete of the Month honor after he broke a meet record in the 200-meter race at the IAAF Diamond League final in Paris on 24 August 2019. Lyle finished with a time of 19.65 to hold off challenger Ramil Guliyev of Turkey. Lyles also won the 100-meter race at the Diamond League event in Zurich later in the month.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was American wrestler Jordan Burroughs and third place went to Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy.
Burroughs won his third consecutive Pan American Games championship in the men’s freestyle 74 kg bracket and finished with a perfect 3-0 record, defeating two world medalists, in Lima, Peru in August.
McIlroy won his second FedEx Cup season title by winning the Tour Championship tournament at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., on 25 August 2019. McIlroy shot an 18-under-par 267 to capture the championship.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American triathlete Katie Zaferes and third place went to American figure skater Alysa Liu.
Zaferes completed a career-best season with a win in the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 31 August 2019. Zaferes won five of eight WTS races this season and finished at the top of every triathlon series ranking: International Triathlon Union world rankings, WTS world rankings, Olympic ranking and continental ranking.
Liu became the first American woman to land a quad Lutz in competition and the first woman in the world to land a quad and triple Axel in the same program, winning the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid by 21.52 points in her international debut.
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.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.