American swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for July.
Dressel won seven gold medals at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Budapest in July, tying a meet medal record set by Michael Phelps in 2007. He won individual gold in the 50 meter freestyle, 100 meter butterfly and 100 meter freestyle and collected four gold medals in relay races.
This is Ledecky’s second consecutive Academy Athlete of the Month award. She won six medals – five gold and one silver – at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Budapest in July. Ledecky took gold in the 400 meter freestyle, 800 meter freestyle, 1500 meter freestyle and two relays and captured silver in the 200 meter freestyle. Ledecky’s medal haul catapulted her to the top of the all-time women’s medals table for the FINA World Championships with 14 gold medals.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Swiss tennis star Roger Federer and third place went to American golfer Jordan Spieth.
Federer won his eighth Wimbledon men’s singles championship on 16 July 2017 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Federer defeated Croatia’s Marin Cilic in straight sets – 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 – to capture a record 19th Grand Slam title. Federer is the first man since Sweden’s Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a single set throughout the tournament.
Spieth shot a 12-under-par 274 to win the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, on 23 July 2017. At age 23, Spieth became just the second player ever to win three out of the four PGA major tournaments before age 24, with the first being Jack Nicklaus. He also became the first player to post scores in the 60s in all four rounds on the course, which has hosted the Open Championship 10 times.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American swimmer Lilly King and third place went to Australian soccer star Sam Kerr.
King set two world records and captured two gold medals at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Budapest in July. King broke world records in the women’s 100 meter breaststroke (1:04.13) and the 50 meter breaststroke (29.4 seconds), winning gold in both races at the event.
Kerr scored a “hat-trick” of three goals in the first half of a 4-2 win against Japan in the Tournament of Nations on 30 July 2017 in San Diego, Calif. Kerr also scored a hat-trick for Sky Blue Football Club (New Jersey) in a win against Kansas City on 9 July 2017, which made her the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) all-time leading scorer with 34 career goals.
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 33rd 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.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy.