LAST DAY TO VOTE for Adeline Gray and J’den Cox for USOPC Athlete of the Month

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling and the USOPC | Oct. 02, 2019, 12:17 p.m. (ET)
Adeline Gray and J'den Cox celebrate their 2019 World titles with the American flag. Photos by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of September, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month.

World champion wrestlers Adeline Gray and J’den Cox are among the finalists, in the Female Athlete of the Month and Male Athlete of the Month awards.

Vote online for Gray and Cox here

Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams through midnight Monday, Oct. 7. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE.

Fans can vote as many times as they want, so vote now and vote often.

Adeline Gray became the first U.S. wrestler to win five Senior World gold medals, with her gold-medal victory at 76 kg at the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 19-20. Gray breaks a tie with four-time World champions John Smith, Jordan Burroughs and Tricia Saunders.

Gray won five matches on the way to the title. She opened with three 10-0 technical falls, beating Eilani Pjollai of Italy, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Elmira Syzdykova of Kazakhstan and Hui Tsz Chang of Tapei. In the semifinals, she defeated 2014 World champion Aline Focken of Germany, 5-1. In the championship finals, Gray stopped two-time World bronze medalist Hiroe Suzuki of Japan, 4-2.

It was her seventh career World medal, with five golds and two bronzes. Gray was one of three U.S. women to win World titles in Nur-Sultan.

J’den Cox won his second straight World gold medal at 92 kg, with a gold-medal performance at the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 20-21. Seeded No. 1, Cox did not allow a single point in winning four matches, outscoring his opponents 26-0 over two days.

Cox opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Mohamad Fardj of Algeria, then stopped Nurgali Nurgaipuly of Kazakhstan, 8-0. His semifinal win was 3-0 over 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Irakli Mtsituri of Georgia. In the gold-medal finals, he faced No. 2 seed and two-time World bronze medalist Alireza Karimimachiani of Iran, who Cox defeated 4-0.

Cox has now won a World or Olympic medal for Team USA four straight years. (2016 Olympic bronze, 2017 World bronze, 2018 World gold, 2019 World gold).

Eight sports – including cycling, Para-cycling, Para swimming, skateboarding, track and field, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling – 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

Robert Griswold (Freehold, N.J.), Para swimming
Took home four medals – including two golds and two silvers –at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, highlighted by an American record performance (1:03.47) in theS8 100-meter backstroke.

Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington), Para-cycling
Won two medals at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, including gold in the men’s C1 time trial and bronze in the men’s C1 road race.

Heimana Reynolds (Honolulu, Hawaii), Skateboarding
Won the men’ park skateboarding world championship title in Sao Paulo, Brazil, recording a score of 88.00 points in his final run.

Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Georgia), Track and field
Captured his fourth world title – and third consecutive – in the men’s triple jump with a score of 17.92 meters at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. His win marked the 100th world title by an American man in track and field history dating back to 1983.

Female Athlete of the Month

Chloé Dygert (Brownsburg, Indiana), Cycling
Won the individual time trial title by the largest margin ever (1:32.35) at the UCI Road World Championships, qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and becoming the youngest winner – woman or man – in event history.

Kate Nye (Oakland Township, Michigan), Weightlifting
Making her debut at the senior world championships at age 20, became the youngest U.S. women’s world weightlifting champion with a gold-medal sweep in the snatch (American record – 112 kg.), 136 kg. clean & jerk (136 kg.) and total (248 kg.).

DeAnna Price (Moscow Mills, Missouri), Track and field
Became the first American, woman or man, to win a world title in the hammer throw, recording three of the four best throws on the day, including the winning toss of 77.54 meters.

Leanne Smith, Para swimming
Claimed four medals – including three golds and one silver – at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, competing up a class and setting a world championship record time of 2:56.49 in the women’s 150-meter individual medley SM4.

Team of the Month

U.S. Men’s Handcycle Relay, Para-cycling
The trio of Will Groulx (Portland, Oregon), Brandon Lyons (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) and Tom Davis (Fremont, Indiana) secured the silver medal at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.

U.S. Mixed 4x400-meter Team, Track and Field
Competing in the inaugural mixed gender 4x400-meter at the World Athletics Championships, the U.S. relay team of Michael Cherry (Chesapeake, Virginia), Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, California), Wil London (Waco, Texas) and Courtney Okolo (Carrollton, Texas) set a winning world-record pace of 3:09.34 ahead of the event’s Olympic debut in 2020. With the win, Felix became the winningest athlete, woman or man, in world championship history.

U.S. Women’s World Cup Team, Indoor Volleyball
Captured the silver medal at the FIVB World Cup with a 10-1 record, defeating top-ranked Serbia, No. 4 Brazil and No. 5 Russia to become the only country to earn a medal in each of the last five world cups played in the year preceding the Olympic Games.

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