© John Cheng

DAPHNE, Ala. – The United States Sports Academy has announced its Athlete of the Month ballot for August and public voting is in progress. Following the selection committee’s meeting, 12 candidates from seven 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, September 12, 2019.

At the 2019 U.S. Championships, Biles won her sixth U.S. all-around title, earned three gold medals and a bronze in individual events and performed two skills never before performed by a female gymnast in competition: a double-double dismount on beam and a triple-double on floor. She became the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six senior U.S. all-around titles, tying with Clara Schroth Lomady who won the all-around from 1945-46 and 1949-52.

Male nominees are Aristides Aquino, baseball, Dominican Republic; Jordan Burroughs, wrestling, United States; Noah Lyles, track and field, United States; Rory McIlroy, golf, Northern Ireland; Anderson Peters, track and field, Grenada; and Teemu Pukki, football (soccer), Finland.

Female nominees are Dina Averina, rhythmic gymnastics, Russia; Simone Biles, artistic gymnastics, United States; Madison Keys, tennis, United States; Alysa Liu, figure skating, United States; and Hinako Shibuno, golf, Japan.

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.