COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Top performances throughout October boosted paratriathlete Melissa Stockwell (Chicago) and alpine skier Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) to Athlete of the Month recognition, while the men's doubles tennis team of Bob Bryan (Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.) and Mike Bryan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) received Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
A 2008 Paralympian in swimming, Stockwell won her third-consecutive ITU Paratriathlon World Championships title in the TRI-2 category Oct. 22 in Auckland, New Zealand. Stockwell won in convincing fashion, finishing more than four minutes clear of her closest competitor and covering the course in 1:22:14. Also a two-time national champion, Stockwell is one of only two paratriathletes with a current streak of three straight world titles.
Ligety powered through a raging blizzard to win the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, by a historic 2.75 seconds. It was the largest magnitude of victory in a giant slalom race in 34 years when the legendary Swede Ingemark Stenmark posted two separate margins of around four seconds. It was Ligety's 12th career world cup win and sixth-straight podium in Soelden, where he is now the two-time defending champion.
Olympic gold medalists Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking in October and also won their third China Open title in four years. At the China Open in Beijing, which ran from Oct. 1-6, the top-seeded duo did not drop a single set the entire tournament en route to its seventh title of the year and 82nd title together. The win marked Mike Bryan's 84th career doubles title - an all-time record that overtook Australian Todd Woodbridge's mark of 83 doubles titles. On Oct. 22, the pair officially clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP doubles team ranking for a record eighth time and for the fourth-consecutive season.
Diving standout Gracia Leydon Mahoney (Newton, Mass.) and figure skater Ashley Wagner (Alexandria, Va.) earned second and third place in the female vote. On the men's side, track & field sensation Dathan Ritzenhein (Portland, Ore.) finished runner-up, while wrestler Max Nowry (Wheeling, Ill.) took third. The figure skating duo of Meryl Davis (West Bloomfield, Mich.) and Charlie White (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) earned second in the team competition, while the para-rowing tandem of Rob Jones (Lovettsville, Va.) and Oksana Masters (Buffalo, N.Y.) rounded out the voting in third.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees with online fan voting via Twitter accounting for 10 percent of the total vote.
1. Melissa Stockwell, Paratriathlon
2. Gracia Leydon Mahoney, Diving
3. Ashley Wagner, Figure Skating
1. Ted Ligety, Alpine Skiing
2. Dathan Ritzenhein, Track & Field
3. Max Nowry, Wrestling
1. Bob and Mike Bryan, Tennis
2. Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Figure Skating
3. Rob Jones and Oksana Masters, Para-rowing