COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Top performances throughout November earned Paralympic track & field athlete Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) and short track speedskater J.R. Celski (Federal Way, Wash.) Athlete of the Month recognition, while the U.S. men’s 5,000-meter speedskating relay team received the Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
Three-time Paralympian McFadden became the first person to complete a marathon grand slam with her win at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3. McFadden received her fourth major title of the year after shattering the previous world record by more than three minutes. She completed the 26.2-mile course in a time of 1:59.13.
Celski claimed his first two individual short track speedskating medals of the season this month with brilliant performances at the 2013 ISU Short Track World Cup in Kolomna, Russia. Celski won the gold medal in the 1,500 before finishing third in the 1,000. Celski also helped the U.S. men’s 5,000-meter relay team win a gold medal, clinching the overall world cup title and this month’s USOC Team of the Month honors. It was the first world cup overall 5,000-meter relay victory for Team USA in the 16-year history of the event.
Celski joined Chris Creveling (Kintnersville, Pa.), John-Henry Krueger (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Jordan Malone (Denton, Texas), Jeff Simon (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Eddy Alvarez (Miami, Fla.) in making up the historic relay team. In the fourth world cup of the season, the U.S. defeated Russia, Korea, and the Netherlands to win the gold medal. It was the third podium – and second gold medal – of the season for the relay team, giving them enough points to win the overall world cup title in that event.
Gymnastics’ Kristle Lowell (Three Rivers, Mich.) and curling’s Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) earned second and third place in the female vote. On the men’s side, Para-snowboarding’s Mike Shea (Castaic, Calif.) finished runner-up, while wheelchair tennis’ David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.) claimed third. U.S. Gymnastics’ women’s double mini-trampoline team received enough votes for second in the team competition, while the wheelchair tennis doubles team of Wagner and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) finished 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. Tatyana McFadden, Paralympic Track & Field
2. Kristle Lowell, Gymnastics
3. Debbie McCormick, Curling
1. J.R. Celski, Short Track Speedskating
2. Mike Shea, Para-Snowboarding
3. David Wagner, Wheelchair Tennis
1. U.S. Men’s 5,000-meter Relay, Speedskating
2. Women’s Double Mini-Trampoline Team, Gymnastics
3. David Wagner and Nick Taylor, Wheelchair Tennis