COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic 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 through midnight Tuesday, Jan. 7. 


Eleven sport disciplines – including alpine skiing, bobsled, cross-country skiing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, long track speedskating, Para Nordic skiing, sled hockey, snowboarding, surfing and taekwondo – 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.




Male Athlete of the Month

Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colorado), Freestyle Skiing

Clinched the gold medal in halfpipe for the second straight year at the U.S. Grand Prix world cup in Copper Mountain, Colorado, and earned silver at the world cup in Secret Garden, China.


Nathan Chen (Salt Lake City, Utah), Figure Skating

Won his third consecutive Grand Prix Final title – becoming the first American man to win the Grand Prix Final three times – and set a new points world record in free skate (224.92) and total score (335.30) while continuing his winning streak to nine consecutive events, dating back to the 2018 world championships.


Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colorado), Snowboarding

Clinched his seventh career season title by taking bronze in big air at the world cup in Beijing and additionally won gold at the world cup in Atlanta, delivering the first-ever quad cork 1800 on a scaffold big air jump.


Tommy Ford (Bend, Oregon), Alpine Skiing

Won gold in giant slalom at the world cup in Beaver Creek, Colorado, clinching the first win by an American man in nearly three years.


Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, Florida), Surfing

Tied for third at the last stop of the championship tour, the Pipe Masters, in Oahu, Hawaii, to claim one of the sport’s most elite titles, the Triple Crown of Surfing, his first since 1998 and third overall.


Female Athlete of the Month

Brittany Bowe (Ocala, Florida), Long Track Speedskating

Won two gold medals in the 1,000-meter at world cup events in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Nagano, Japan, extending her streak to seven straight world cup wins at the distance and breaking a three-way tie shared with Bonnie Blair and Heather Bergmsa for seven consecutive wins; additionally set a track record in Japan in the 1,000 and won bronze in the 1,500 in Kazakhstan.


Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Illinois), Para Nordic Skiing

Took home five medals – two golds and three silvers – at the world cup season-opener in Lillehammer, Norway, claiming gold in the sitting class of the sprint biathlon and individual biathlon and silver in the sitting class of the short cross-country, middle-distance cross-country and cross-country sprint.

Carissa Moore (Honolulu, Hawaii), Surfing

Clinched her fourth world title at the final event of the season, just one day after punching her ticket to Japan to represent Team USA as surfing makes its Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colorado), Alpine Skiing

Won her fourth straight world cup on U.S. snow in slalom in Killington, Vermont, by a margin of 2.29 seconds – her biggest victory gap in three years – and capped the month by sweeping two world cup races in Lienz, Austria, to bring her career total to 64 wins, matching Lindsey Vonn’s record for most women’s world cup victories in one discipline with 43 slalom wins.


Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Florida), Taekwondo

Won the bronze medal in the -57 kg. division at the Grand Prix Final in Moscow after defeating two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones of Great Britain, 36-32, in the quarterfinals and rebounding from a semifinal loss to claim a 6-4 victory over Canada’s Skyler Park in the third-place match.


Team of the Month

Kaillie Humphries (Carlsbad, California) and Lauren Gibbs (Los Angeles, California), Bobsled

Won two gold medals  in their first season as a duo  at the world cup in Lake Placid, New York, on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14.


U.S. Women’s 4x5-kilometer Relay, Cross-Country Skiing

The relay squad of Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vermont), Sadie Maubet Bjornsen (Winthrop, Washington), Rosie Brennan (Anchorage, Alaska) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minnesota) took silver at the world cup in Lillehammer, Norway, matching the best world cup podium finish for Team USA in the event.


U.S. Men’s National Team, Sled Hockey

Clinched gold after defeating rival Canada, 2-1, at the Para Hockey Cup in Paradise, Newfoundland, marking Team USA’s sixth consecutive Para Hockey Cup win.



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% of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via