For Immediate Release
April 18, 2008 USOC Tabs Skier Lindsey Vonn, Speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, and the U.S. Men's Short Track World Championship Team as Athletes and Team of the Month for March COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The United States Olympic Committee announced today that the honors for Athlete and Team of the Month for March were awarded to Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo./Skiing), Apolo Anton Ohno (Seattle, Wash./Speedskating), and the U.S. Men's Short Track World Championship Team. Vonn, who won Athlete of the Month honors for February as well, was given the same honor for March. Vonn continued her thrashing of the Alpine skiing record books when she became the first American woman since 1983 to win the World Cup overall title during the World Cup Finals in Bormio, Italy, March 14. She placed 11t after rallying from a 25th-place first-run to win the second run by a 0.19 second margin. Vonn, along with Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, N.H.) made history as the second-ever American duo to win the overall World Cup title. Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney accomplished the feat first in 1983. Vonn was awarded the World Cup downhill globe after winning March 8, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland by a monster 0.61 second margin over Austrian Renate Goetchl. She later went on to win the 2008 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championship slalom title, March 22 at Sugarloaf, Maine in a time of 1:26.31. The nod for the men's award went to two-time Olympic gold medalist Ohno who won his first title, March 9, at the ISU World Short Track Speedskating Championships in Gangneung, Republic of South Korea. Ohno, who was disqualified during the men's 1500m event, did not let the setback phase him and came back to win the men's 500m and take silver in the men's 1000m events. The U.S. Men's Short Track World Team made history when they won the overall World Championship in Harbin, China, March 7-9 and was awarded Team of the Month for March. In an overall race so close it came down to the final event, the American men beat the usually dominant Koreans, Chinese and Canadians to bring home the world championship title. The previous highest placing at a World Championship was third. Winning the World championship is the highest honor a team can win in short track speedskating during an off-Olympic year. The roster consisted of Apolo Anton Ohno (Seattle, Wash.), Jeff Simon (Long Beach, Calif.), Jordan Malone (Denton, Texas), Ryan Levielle (Memphis, Tenn.) and JP Kepka (St. Louis, Mo.). Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash.) was awarded second in the Athlete of the Month voting. She earned two medals, one in the form of a world title, at the 2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester, England, March 28-30. Reed brought home the United States' first-ever world title in the women's keirin on March 30, out-sprinting an all-star field that included two-time world champion Clara Sanchez of France, 2006 world champion Christin Muche of Germany, and defending world champion and 2008 sprint winner Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain. Earlier in the competition, Reed earned a bronze medal in the sprint, which helped solidify her chances to make the team headed to Beijing in August. At the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships, held March 7-9, Lolo Jones (Baton Rouge, La.) brought home the gold in the women's 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.80 seconds. With all three rounds of the hurdles run on March 8, Jones first ran a 7.96 in the opening rounds, moving her into the semifinal where she easily won her heat in 7.82 to advance to the final. Her performances in March earned her enough votes for third place. Second place in the men's voting went to Bryan Clay (Glendora, Calif.) At the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships, held March 7-9, Clay dominated the men's heptathlon from the opening event and never relinquished his lead. On March 8, Clay first won the men's 60m in 6.71 (988 pts) and then had the farthest long jump of the morning with a mark of 7.75 meters/25 feet 5.25 inches (997 pts). He then threw the shot a personal best 16.21m/53-2.25 (864 pts) and cleared 2.09m/6-10.25 (887 pts) in the high jump. After dusting the field in the 60m hurdles in 7.86 (1,017 pts), clearing 5.00m/16-4.75 (910 pts) in the pole vault and running 2:55.64 (708 pts) in the 1,000m, Clay claimed his first World Indoor title with a world-leading personal best 6,371 points. For a successful March, Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) was awarded third-place in the voting. He held off some stiff competition with a great second run to win the Bormio World Cup and clinch the 2008 Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom title March 14, in Bormio, Italy. Ligety had to hold off veteran Benni Raich of Austria and an upstart newcomer, Italian Manfred Moelgg to win gold. Ligety destroyed the bottom of the Stelvio course to take a huge lead and neither competitor was able to deliver. With the win, Ligety became part of history. His performance made him the first American to win the GS title since Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, N.H.) won it in 2004. The U.S. Under-23 Men's Soccer Team realized their dream of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games, becoming one of two teams that will represent the region in Bejing this summer earned second-place honors in the team award. The United States dominated Canada, 3-0, in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualification Tournament, advancing to the Olympic Football tournament for the 13th time in U.S. history. The result helped erase the painful memory of failing to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. U.S. forward Freddy Adu (Potomac, Md.) finished as the tournament's leading scorer with four foals, becoming one of four Americans named to the All-Tournament team. Midfielders Dax McCarty (Winter Park, Fla.) and Maurice Edu (Fontana, Calif.), along with defender Michael Orozco (Orange, Calif.) joined Adu on the "Best XI," while Sacha Kljestan (Huntington Beach, Calif.) earned honorable mention. Team members included Chris Seitz (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Marvell Wynne (Poway, Calif.), Michael Orozco (Orange, Calif.) Patrick Ianni (Lodi, Calif.), Nathan Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.), Maurice Edu (Fontana, Calif.), Stuart Holden (Houston, Texas), Sal Zizzo (San Diego, Calif.), Charlie Davies (Manchester, N.H.), Dax McCarty (Winter Park, Fla.), Freddy Adu (Potomac, Md.), Josmer Altidore (Boca Raton, Fla.), Hunter Freeman (Allen, Texas), Robbie Findley (Phoenix, Ariz.), Kamani Hill (Berkeley, Calif.), Sacha Kljestan (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Jonathan Spector (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Dominic Cervi (Norman, Okla.), Chad Barrett (Beaverton, Ore.) and Eddie Gaven (Hamilton, N.J.) Third place in the team voting went to the U.S. Women's Pacific Rim Championships Team, who claimed a total of 14 medals at the 2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, March 28-30 in San Jose, Calif. The women posted a score of 245.275 to best Canada by 11.8 points for the team title. Nastia Liukin (Parker, Texas) and Rebecca Bross (Plano, Texas) claimed the all-around crowns in the senior and junior divisions, respectively. Jana Bieger (Coconut Creek, Fla.) and Samantha Shapiro (Los Angeles, Calif.) took the all-around silver medals in the senior and junior divisions, respectively. In the individual event finals, Bieger and Liukin went 1-2 on the uneven bars, while Liukin and Bieger placed first and second, respectively, on the balance beam. Darlene Hill (Mount Laurel, N.J.) won the floor exercise title. For the juniors, Bross claimed gold medals on vault, balance beam and floor exercise, and Shapiro won the uneven bars. Results: Men 1. Apolo Anton Ohno, Speedskating
2. Bryan Clay, Track and Field
3. Ted Ligety, Skiing Women 1. Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
2. Jennie Reed, Cycling
3. Lolo Jones, Track and Field Team 1. U.S. Men's Short Track World Championship Team, Speedskating
2. U.S. Men's U23 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Team, Soccer
3. U.S. Women's Pacific Rim Championship Team, Gymnastics For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.