U.S. Ski Team athletes swept the USOC's Athlete of the Month polls, with Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin and the duo of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins taking the awards for February. Photo: Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (March 7) – The U.S. Ski Team swept the U.S. Olympic Committee's monthly awards as Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) earned Athlete of the Month honors for their stunning gold medal performances at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February. Cross Country duo Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) completed the U.S. Ski Team domination rolling with the Team of the Month honor after taking gold in the team sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
The U.S. Ski Team swept the USOC's monthly awards for the first time in history.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) captured his third male Athlete of the Month award this season with a triple gold performance (super G, super combined, giant slalom) at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. It was the first time an athlete had won that many gold medals at a World Championships since Jean Claude Killy in 1968.
Ligety had previously won the award in Oct. and Nov. with record World Cup giant slalom victory margins.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) won her second consecutive female Athlete of the Month honor after taking slalom gold at alpine World Champs to become the youngest American to win a World Championship title since Diann Roffe won gold in giant slalom in 1985.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) and Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) won the Team of the Month award for landing a stunning team sprint victory at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships for the first gold medal in U.S. cross country history.
Ligety and Shiffrin enter the final two weeks of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season leading the giant slalom and slalom standings respectively.
A voting panel of prominent journalists votes on the awards each month from a pool of nominees submitted by National Governing Bodies across the spectrum of summer and winter Olympic sports. Online fan voting via Twitter also accounts for a percentage of the total vote.
QUOTES Ted Ligety Our team is really strong and the results really speak for themselves. It's really cool to have this kind of depth and not just in alpine. The overall program is working really well for pretty much every program and that's exactly what you want to see going into an Olympic year.
Mikaela Shiffrin I don't know what it is about this year, but all of the U.S. ski and snowboard teams are crushing right now and it's so cool to be able to cheer for all my teammates, not just the alpine team. It feels so special to get a Tweet from Kikkan or to send a congrats to Ted after he wins something on the other side of Europe. Their success makes me want to win that much more. This is a really special honor and such this is such a special group of athletes to share it with.
Kikkan Randall Wow, so cool! This is an incredible honor! There were so many outstanding performances by USOC teams this month and it's gratifying to be able to shine some light on our great sport of cross country. The World Championships victory was such a special breakthrough for the U.S. Ski Team. Being able to share this accomplishment with the U.S. sports community through this award will help us create a legacy to continue producing World Champions into the future!
Jessie Diggins I am really honored to receive the award with Kikkan, especially during World Champs month alongside many amazing races that were taking place. It took a lot of people to make the race a success and I wish the award could cover the entire team - staff, teammates, trainers. It means a lot for our sport and will hopefully inspire even more breakthrough performances later on!
Bill Marolt The accomplishments of Ted, Mikaela, Jessie and Kikkan exemplify the Best in the World vision each of our USSA athletes seeks to achieve. It's a great credit to them and the support team that helped make it possible for them to reach their goals.