Please Vote For The Academy’s Athlete of the Month
January Athlete of the Month Ballot
Ezekiel Elliott, Football, United States
The sophomore running back rattled off back-to-back 200-yard rushing efforts in leading Ohio State to the National Championship. In a record-setting performance Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl, he posted 230 yards on 20 carries as the Buckeyes beat Alabama in a national semifinal. Then in the Jan. 12 title contest, he went for 246 yards on 36 carries, scoring four touchdowns in the process, as Ohio State rolled over Oregon.
Pau Gasol, Basketball, Spain
The Chicago Bulls big man not only scored a career-high 46 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in a win Jan. 10 against Milwaukee, he also managed to post 11 double-doubles in 14 games throughout the month, averaging 19.1 points and 13.5 rebounds in the process.
Marcel Hirscher, Skiing, Austria
Won the World Cup slalom men’s race Jan. 7 in Zagreb, Croatia, finishing with a combined time of 1 minute, 55.96 seconds. He also won the giant slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, on Jan. 10 and is the current leader in the World Cup slalom standings.
Marcus Mariota, Football, United States
The Heisman Trophy winner starred in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, carrying Oregon to a national semifinal victory against previously unbeaten Florida State by connecting on 26 of 38 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a 23-yard score. In the title game, he proved heroic even in a losing effort, throwing for 337 yards and two scores. The native Hawaiian posted an almost incomprehensible 38-2 touchdown to interception ratio in leading the Ducks to a No. 2 ranking in the regular season.
Aaron Rodgers, Football, United States
Completed 24 of 35 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns in guiding Green Bay past Dallas Jan. 11 and into the NFC Championship Game, when, a week later, he also helped stake the Packers to a 16-0 lead before they ultimately fell in overtime to Seattle. Rodgers was awarded the NFL’s MVP award for a season in which he threw for 4,381 yards and 38 scores while only being intercepted five times.
J.J. Watt, Football, United States
The Houston Texans defensive end earned defensive MVP honors for the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 25, after intercepting a pass and forcing a fumble that he recovered. He registered four passes defenses as well. In addition, he was named the NFL’s defensive player of the season after posting 20.5 sacks and scoring five touchdowns.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe, World Cup moguls, Canada
The reigning Olympic champion in the ski moguls, she won the World Cup event in Park City, Utah, beating Hannah Kearney, 19-16, on Jan. 9. Dufour-Lapoint is the current points leader in World Cup moguls.
Emelia Gorecka, Cross Country, Great Britain
Emerged victorious in the women’s Great Edinburgh Team Cross Country race Jan. 10 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She finished the women’s 6 kilo in 21 minutes, 26 seconds.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing, Great Britain
Won the Jan. 4 World Cup slalom women’s race in Zagreb, Croatia, taking both runs and posting an aggregate time of 1 minute, 55.66 seconds. She beat the second-place finisher by 1.68 seconds, which was the largest winning margin in the history of women’s World Cup slalom racing.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Figure Skating, Russia
Grabbed the gold medal at the European Figure Skating Championships Jan. 31 in Stockholm,
Sweden. Skated a flawless free skate program, landing all jumps in the routine successfully.
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing, United States
Took the Jan. 19 Super G race in Cortina D’ Ampezzo, Italy, beating her nearest competitor by 0.85 and making her the most successful women’s World Cup skier of all time with 63 victories. She later added to that total by prevailing at the Jan. 24 Super G race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, with a winning time of 1 minutes, 23.55 seconds.
Serena Williams, Tennis, United States
Topped Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, to win the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 31. The victory was her 19th Grand Slam title and sixth Aussie Open crown.