COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of December, 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, Jan. 8.
A total of 10 sports – including alpine skiing, bowling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, long track speedskating, Para Nordic skiing, rugby, sled hockey, swimming and taekwondo – 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.
Male Athlete of the Month
Andrew Anderson (Holly, Michigan), Bowling
Won five medals – one gold, three silvers and one bronze – at his first world championships in Hong Kong, rolling a perfect 300 game during singles qualifying, one of only two perfect games rolled during the tournament.
Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colorado), Freestyle Skiing
Won the U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe in Copper Mountain, Colorado, and secured a second-place finish in the inaugural modified halfpipe at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Figure Skating
Defended his Grand Prix Final title with a season-high 282.42 total points, becoming the first American man and second U.S. singles skater to win two Grand Prix Final titles.
Dan Cnossen (Topeka, Kansas), Para Nordic Skiing
Won six medals – four golds and two bronzes – at the world cup in Vuokatti, Finland, securing a medal in each event in which he competed.
Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Florida), Swimming
Led the U.S. men with nine medals – six golds and three silvers – at the short course world championships in Hangzhou, China, setting American records in the 50- and 100-meter freestyles.
Female Athlete of the Month
Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Florida), Long Track Speedskating
Earned six medals – two golds, one silver and three bronzes – at the world cup events in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, and Heerenveen, Netherlands, setting a new lowland world record in the 1,000-meter.
Madelynn Gorman-Shore (Littleton, Colorado), Taekwondo
Won the silver medal at the grand slam in Wuxi, China, defeating U.S. teammate and Olympian Jackie Galloway, as well as Great Britain’s Rebecca McGowan en route to the finals.
Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois), Para Nordic Skiing
Secured four medals at the world cup in Vuokatti, Finland, placing first in the middle-distance biathlon, biathlon sprint and biathlon pursuit.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colorado), Alpine Skiing
Won six world cup races across four different disciplines, becoming the first athlete in the history of the sport – male or female – to win in all six alpine disciplines.
Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Illinois), Swimming
Earned a meet-best eight gold medals at the short course world championships in Hangzhou, China, setting American records in the 50- and 100- meter backstroke events.
Team of the Month
Madison Hubbell (Sylvania, Ohio) and Zachary Donohue (Madison, Connecticut), Figure Skating
Claimed their first Grand Prix Final title in ice dancing with a season-high 205.35 total points, becoming only the second U.S. ice dance team to win the title.
*USA Men’s Eagles Sevens, Rugby
Won back-to-back silver medals at HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series events in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Cape Town, South Africa, securing a No. 1 world ranking for the first time in history.
U.S. National Team, Sled Hockey
Earned an unprecedented fifth-straight World Sled Hockey Challenge, marking its record-setting seventh title at the competition.
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.