COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 31, 2018 – 2016 Olympic and five-time U.S. all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, and five-time U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak of Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center, are among the finalists for the United States Olympic Committee’s Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of August, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at TeamUSA.org/Awards through midnight Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Biles won her fifth senior women’s all-around title at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, the national championships for men’s and women’s gymnastics. She not only became the first woman to win five titles (2013-16, 2018) in USA Gymnastics’ history, but she won that fifth title with a 6.55-point margin of victory (the largest of any of her five titles) just eight months after returning to training. She also won all four event titles, earning her fourth vault, first uneven bars, third balance beam and third floor exercise titles. She is the first woman to win the all-around and all four event titles since Dominque Dawes in 1994. Biles also is the first non-teen to win the all-around since 1971. When gymnastics was governed by the Amateur Athletic Union, Clara Schroth Lomady won her fifth all-around title in 1950, on her way to her sixth and final title in 1952.
Mikulak claimed his fifth career senior men’s all-around title at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Mikulak won the all-around from 2013-16 and with his 2018 title, he became the first man to win five all-around titles since Blaine Wilson in 2000. Mikulak joins Frank Cumiskey (1934, 1936, 1945-47), George Wheeler (1937-41) and Blaine Wilson (1996-2000). Mikulak also won the event titles for floor exercise, parallel bars (third) and horizontal bar (second).
A total of seven sports – including gymnastics, ice hockey, Para-cycling, Para swimming, softball, surfing and swimming – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.
In addition to Biles, the women’s Athlete of the Month finalists are: Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, California), surfing; Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Maryland), swimming; Becca Meyers (Baltimore, Maryland), pPara swimming; and Jill Walsh (Syracuse, New York), para-cycling.
Along with Mikulak, the finalists for Male Athlete of the Month are: Robert Griswold (Freehold, New Jersey), para swimming; Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Florida), swimming; Oz Sanchez (San Diego, California), para-cycling; and Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, California), swimming
The Team finalists are: U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team, Ice Hockey; U.S. Men’s Handcycling Relay Team, Para-cycling; and U.S. Women’s World Championship Team, Softball
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org/Awards.