COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Notable performances during the month of March earned Paralympic Nordic skier Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky), shooter Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) and the ice dancing pair of Madison Chock (Novi, Michigan) and Evan Bates (Ann Arbor, Michigan) Best of March honors for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
Masters claimed her final two gold medals of the 2014-15 season at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup final, held March 16-22 in Surnadal, Norway. She finished 52.8 seconds ahead of the field to win the 12-kilometer sitting cross-country race. Four days later, she clinched the overall women’s Nordic world cup title with a win in the middle distance event.
Hancock made history by shooting a perfect world-record qualifying score of 125 to win the gold medal in men’s skeet at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup, held March 9 in Acapulco, Mexico. The reigning two-time Olympic gold medalist connected on all 157 targets, marking the first time a shooter has accomplished the feat since the new skeet rules were implemented after the London 2012 Olympic Games. The win marked the sixth world cup victory of his career.
Chock and Bates earned the ice dancing silver medal with a personal-best score of 181.34 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, held March 23-29 in Shanghai. The second-place finish marked a career high and they were the only team to earn a level four – the highest awarded in figure skating – on each of their five elements in the short dance. The pair's segment score of 74.47 was the highest of the event by 1.79 points.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org.
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Kellogg’s, Samsung and USG.