U.S. Olympic Committee announces Best of December finalists for Team USA Awards presented by Dow

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of December, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Awards.TeamUSA.org through midnight Tuesday, Jan. 9.

A total of 10 sports – including alpine skiing, curling, equestrian, figure skating, Para Nordic skiing, Para snowboarding, Para swimming, sled hockey, snowboarding and weightlifting – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.

DECEMBER FINALISTS

Male Athlete of the Month
Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Figure Skating
Became the third U.S. man to win the Grand Prix Final title, earning 286.51 points to claim his fourth straight title on the Grand Prix tour.

Tharon Drake (Hobbs, New Mexico), Para Swimming
Earned two gold medals and one silver medal at the World Para Swimming Championships, marking the first world titles of his career.

Kent Farrington (Wellington, Florida), Equestrian
Won his first Grand Slam of Show Jumping title, along with the Credit Suisse Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, helping him maintain the top world ranking for the eighth consecutive month.

Harrison Maurus (Auburn, Washington), Weightlifting
Ended a 20-year medal drought for the U.S. men at the IWF World Championships by winning bronze and setting youth world and American records in clean and jerk, and total. 

Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minnesota), Para Snowboarding
Swept his snowboardcross events at the world cup in Pyha, Finland, marking his fourth and fifth consecutive podiums of the season, and holding his spot at the top of the world cup rankings.

Female Athlete of the Month
Chloe Kim (Torrance, California), Snowboarding
Secured her spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team with two halfpipe victories at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Dew Tour Olympic qualifying events.

Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland), Para Swimming
Swept her events at the World Para Swimming Championships, winning eight gold medals, the most of any female at the world championships.

Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), Para Nordic Skiing
Dominated the world cup in Canmore, Alberta, winning three gold medals in biathlon and two silver medals in cross-country events.


Sarah Robles (Desert Hot Springs, California), Weightlifting
Became the first American to win an IWF World Championship title since 1994, earning gold in snatch, clean and jerk, and total.

Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colorado), Alpine Skiing
Surpassed Bode Miller for the second-most all-time world cup wins after finishing first in five world cup competitions across downhill, giant slalom and slalom events.

Team of the Month
Becca and Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wisconsin), Curling
Won seven straight games at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Mixed Doubles Curling, becoming the first duo in Olympic history to qualify in two curling disciplines.

Alex and Maia Shibutani (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Figure Skating
Skated to the bronze medal in ice dance at the Grand Prix Final, continuing their international competition medal streak that dates back to early 2016.

U.S. National Team, Sled Hockey
Claimed an unprecedented fourth-straight World Sled Hockey Challenge title, marking its record-setting sixth title at the competition.

SELECTION PROCESS
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via Awards.TeamUSA.org.