© John Cheng

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 12, 2010 – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced 2010 world vault champion Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., won the USOC Female Athlete of the Month honors for October 2010. The U.S. Women’s World Championships Team garnered the second highest votes for the team honors in recognition for its five-medal performance at the World Championships, and 2010 world all-around bronze medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston rounded out the voting for the month’s top male athlete.  Cyclist Taylor Phinney and USA Basketball’s Women’s World Championship Team joined Sacramone in receiving the October honors.  

Just two and a half months after returning to competition after nearly a two-year break, Sacramone won the world vault title at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Sacramone won the vault gold medal with a 15.200, the average of her two vault scores.  She is just the second U.S. woman to win the world vault title and now has one gold, one silver and two bronze world vault medals. Sacramone’s career world medal total is now nine (three gold, four silver and two bronze), tying Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin for the most career world medals earned by U.S. women.  

Phinney and Sacramone also had strong support in the USOC’s online fan poll. Utilizing their fan bases to perfection, both of this month’s individual winners garnered the most votes in the interactive component of the voting process.  

On Oct. 1, the 20-year-old Phinney (Boulder, Colo.) became the first-ever American to win a medal in the Under-23 Road Race at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia. The 2010 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team dominated opponents by an eye-popping average margin of 35.1 points a game and took home the team gold medal. The USA won all nine of its games over an 11-day span, including an 89-69 win over host Czech Republic in the gold medal contest.   

Taking third in the men’s voting, Horton won the men’s all-around bronze medal at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. He just missed the silver, finishing less than two tenths-of-a-point behind Germany’s Philipp Boy, with an 89.864. It was also the USA’s first men’s all-around world medal since 2003 when Paul Hamm won the title. Due to scheduling, the men had less than 24 hours between the conclusion of the team finals, where he lead the U.S. men to a fourth place finish and the all-around finals.  

Placing second in the team voting was the 2010 Women’s Gymnastics World Championship Team that won the team silver medal, finishing just 0.201 points behind Russia, at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The U.S. women continued their streak of winning a team medal at every World Championships and Olympic Games since 2000. For the entire World Championships, the USA won one gold, two silver and three bronze medals for a total of six medals.  

Each national governing body may nominate up to but no more than one female, one male and one team per discipline. The winners are then voted on from that pool of nominees.   

USOC “of the Month” honors for October 2010

1.         Alicia Sacramone, Gymnastics
2.         Diana Taurasi, Basketball
3.         Katherine Reutter, Speedskating

1.         Taylor Phinney, Cycling
2.         Joey Mantia, Roller Sports
3.         Jonathan Horton, Gymnastics

1.         USA Basketball’s Women’s World Championship Team
2.         2010 Women’s Gymnastics World Championship Team
3.         U.S. Short Track Speedskating World Cup Team