United States Sports Academy |
A pair of American gymnasts were named the United States Sports Academy’s male and female Athletes of the Month for March. Sam Mikulak and Morgan Hurd took home the Academy’s top honors after stellar performances during the month.
Mikulak finished in first place in parallel bars and floor exercise and won gold in the all-around competition at the American Cup in Wisconsin on 7 March 2020. Mikulak won the all-around with 85.322 points after finishing in the top 4 in every event.
Hurd won the women’s all-around title at the American Cup in Wisconsin on 7 March 2020. Hurd finished first in the uneven bars, second in the floor exercise and third in bars and beam to secure the all-around title.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Jamaican wrestler Angus Arthur and third place went to French biathlete Martin Fourcade.
Arthur became the first wrestler from Jamaica to win gold at the Pan-American Championship tournament in Ottawa on 8 March 2020. Arthur took gold in the men’s 92kg (202 lbs.) class after defeating Costa Rica’s Maxwell Lacey Garita 13-1 in the final.
Fourcade won the final race of his career at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Finland on 14 March 2020. It was Fourcade’s 83rd victory in a career that included five Olympic titles and 13 world championships.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American speedskater Brittany Bowe and third place went to Mexican wrestler Alma Jane Valencia Escoto.
Bowe clinched the season title in the 1,000-meter distance with a silver medal in the World Cup event in the Netherlands on 7 March 2020. It was Bowe’s second consecutive season world title and fourth overall.
Valencia Escoto won the women’s 57kg (125 lbs.) weight class and became the first female wrestler ever from her country to qualify for the Olympic Games at the Pan-American Olympic Wrestling Qualification Tournament in Ottawa on 14 March 2020. Valencia Escoto defeated American Helen Maroulis to take the title in the championship match.
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 36th 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.