(L-R) Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety, ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White
Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety, ice dancing team Meryl Davis and Charlie White earn U.S. Olympic Committee's March honors
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Championship performances throughout March earned alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) and Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) Athlete of the Month recognition, while the ice dancing team of Meryl Davis (West Bloomfield, Mich.) and Charlie White (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) received Team of the Month honors, the United States Olympic Committee announced today.
Shiffrin won her first overall slalom title with a come-from-behind victory at the FIS Alpine World Cup on March 16 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. With the win, she became the first U.S. slalom world cup champion since Tamara McKinney accomplished the feat in 1984. The thrilling race came to a crescendo as Shiffrin erased a 1.17-second first-run deficit with the fastest final run time to win the title over Tina Maze of Slovenia, who had led the standings by seven points heading into the final race. The 18-year-old made history as the fourth youngest woman to win a globe and the sixth youngest woman to win any world cup title.
Ligety secured his fourth career Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom overall title with a wire-to-wire victory on March 9 in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. He posted a time of 2:35.43 to capture his fifth world cup giant slalom victory of the season and surpass the legendary Alberto Tomba for third on the all-time giant slalom win list. Competing again on March 16, he convincingly won the world cup finals giant slalom for a historic sixth win to join alpine icon Ingemar Stenmark as the only other man to win six or more giant slalom races in a single world cup season. He finished the season ranked third overall in the Audi FIS world cup standings with 1,022 points, beating out his previous best of 898 in 2008.
Davis and White captured their second world ice dancing title at the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships on March 16 in London, Ontario. The five-time U.S. champions compiled a personal-best 189.56 points to complete a perfect season. Their free dance, set to music from Notre Dame de Paris , earned positive grades of execution on every element, with more than half earning a Level 4 - the highest level awarded in figure skating. They earned a world record short dance score of 77.12 points. Davis and White, the 2010 Olympic silver medalists, are the only U.S. ice dancing team to win a world championship title, winning gold in both 2011 and 2013.
Track & Field's Jenn Suhr (Fredonia, N.Y.) and snowboarding's Kelly Clark (West Dover, Vt.) earned second and third place in the female vote. On the men's side, gymnast Jake Dalton (Reno, Nev.) finished runner-up, while snowboarder Louie Vito (Sandy, Utah) took third. The luge doubles team of Ty Andersen and Anthony Espinoza earned second in the team competition, while tennis doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan rounded out the voting in 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. Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing
2. Jenn Suhr, Track & Field
3. Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
1. Ted Ligety, Alpine Skiing
2. Jake Dalton, Gymnastics
3. Louie Vito, Snowboarding
1. Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Figure Skating
2. Ty Anderson and Anthony Espinoza, Luge
3. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, Tennis