COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Top performances throughout April earned triathlete Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) and gymnast Paul Ruggeri (Manlius, N.Y.) Athlete of the Month recognition, while the U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team received Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
2012 Olympian Jorgensen made history when she became the first U.S. woman to win an International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series event at the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego, held April 19. Jorgensen logged the fastest 10-kilometer run split (33:10) to surge ahead of the field and top the podium. The win earned Jorgensen the title of 2013 USA Triathlon elite national champion. She is currently the top-ranked U.S. female triathlete in the world despite completing only one of the two races held this year.
Ruggeri shined for Team USA as he hauled in two gold medals at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) World Cup, held April 27-28 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. With a score of 14.912, Ruggeri took home the vault gold medal and posted a 14.975 to tie for first place and claim the high bar title. Capping off his impressive performance, Ruggeri finished seventh in the floor exercise.
The U.S. Women's National Ice Hockey Team collected gold at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship, held April 2-9 in Ottawa, Ontario. Team USA rebounded from its opening loss to win four consecutive games, including the gold-medal showdown in which the U.S. put up a dominant performance that resulted in a 3-2 victory over Canada. The U.S. finished with a 4-0-1-0 record to secure its fourth gold medal in the last five world championships and fifth overall in tournament history. The win helped solidify Team USA as a leading contender for the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Ice hockey's Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) and Paralympic track & field's Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, M.D.) earned second and third place in the female vote. On the men's side, Paralympic swimming's Ian Silverman (Baltimore, M.D.) finished runner-up, while cycling's Nathan Brown (Covington, Tenn.) took third. The U.S. World Figure Skating Team finished second in the team competition, while the sailing duo of Anne Haeger (East Troy, Wis.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) 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. Gwen Jorgensen, Triathlon
2. Brianna Decker, Ice Hockey
3. Tatyana McFadden, Paralympic Track & Field
1. Paul Ruggeri, Gymnastics
2. Ian Silverman, Paralympic Swimming
3. Nathan Brown, Cycling
1. U.S. Women's National Team, Ice Hockey
2. U.S. World Team, Figure Skating
3. Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha, Sailing