Two outstanding international athletes, each with strong cases to be considered the best-ever in their respective sports, have been named the 2009 United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
The Athlete of the Year competition consisted of 12 male and 12 female candidates from around the world, representing a dozen countries. And as the resumes of the runners-up show, the field had plenty of tremendous candidates.
Finishing second in the men’s balloting was Swiss tennis star Roger Federer, who won his record 15th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, less than a month after completing the career Grand Slam at the French Open. In third place was another amazing 2009 performer, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. Already the defending Olympic champion in the events, Bolt stunned the sports landscape at the world track and field championships by lowering his already world-record times in the 100 and 200. Bolt won the 100 in 9.58 seconds and the 200 in 19.19, lowering each mark by a stunning .11 seconds.The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. The Athlete of the Month is selected by an international voting committee comprised of media members and representatives of sports organizations and governing bodies.
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