COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Olympic Committee announced USA Cycling’s Kristin Armstrong and track athlete Tyson Gay as the September Athletes of the Month, while the USA World Cup Baseball Team was awarded Team of the Month honors.
Nearly 1,500 votes were cast by followers of the USOC’s Twitter site (@USOlympic). The Twitter votes account for ten percent of the final tally, with a voting panel of U.S. Olympic family members comprising the remainder.
Performing in her last international competition, Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) rode into retirement in September by earning her second world title in the elite women’s time trial at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland on Sept. 23. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist recorded a time of 35:26.09 over the 27-kilometer course. Three days later, Armstrong just missed the podium in the elite women’s road race, placing fourth in her final race before retirement.
Gay (Clermont, Fla.) wins the USOC Male Athlete of the Month for the second month in a row and the fifth time ever. The 2008 Olympian continues to establish himself as the fastest U.S. sprinter by lowering his own American record in the men’s 100 meters. Gay clocked a blistering 9.69 seconds at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in China on Sept. 20. His run was the second-best performance of all time, equaling Usain Bolt’s then world record from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
USA Baseball’s Professional Team was named USOC Team of the Month after winning the IBAF World Cup for the fourth time. Team USA defeated Cuba 10-5 in the final in Nettuno, Italy on Sept. 27. Comprised of the best minor league players, the team outscored opponents 118-42 and reeled off 14 consecutive victories after dropping the World Cup opener to Venezuela. Team USA was led by first baseman and Justin Smoak (Goose Creak S.C.), who was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament with nine home runs and 22 RBIs.
Since bursting onto the world tennis scene at the US Open, Melanie Oudin (Marietta, Ga.) took second place in the voting for USOC Female Athlete of the Month. The 18-year-old sensation defeated four higher-ranked players before falling in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows on Sept. 9. Coming in third in the voting, Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas) capped off a successful track season by winning the 400m at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium on Sept. 4. She earned a third of the $1,000,000 jackpot given to athletes who sweep their event in all six Golden League meets.
Jarrod Shoemaker (Maynard, Mass.) placed first on Twitter and second overall in the race for Male Athlete of the Month. The triathlete took a break from swimming to win the 2009 ITU Duathlon World Championships in Concord, N.C. on Sept. 26. Dremiel Byers (Newark, N.J.) finished third in the voting after winning the silver medal at 120kg in Greco-Roman at the World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark on Sept. 27. The 2002 World Champion won four matches in a row before falling to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Mijian Lopez of Cuba in the finals.
The U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team won the 2009 Hockey Canada Cup Championships in September, helping them place second in the voting for Team of the Month. Team USA defeated Canada twice including a 2-1 victory in the final game in Vancouver on Sept. 6. The U.S. Junior Diving Team came in at third in the voting after winning the overall team title at the Junior Pan American Championships in Calgary, Canada, Sept. 10-13. American divers compiled 31 medals, including 11 gold medals.
Women 1. Kristin Armstrong, Cycling 2. Melanie Oudin, Tennis 3. Sanya Richards, Track & Field
Men 1. Tyson Gay, Track & Field 2. Jarrod Shoemaker, Triathlon 3. Dremiel Byers, Wrestling
Team 1. USA World Cup Team, Baseball 2. U.S. Women’s National Team, Hockey 3. Junior Pan American Team, Diving
For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.