Michelle Kwan Named USOC January Athlete of the Month
Photo by Paul Harvath
(2/11/05) — The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today that Michelle Kwan has been voted the January Athlete of the Month. This is the 14th time Kwan has won this honor, most recently in January 2004. In 2003 she was also honored as USOC SportsWoman of the Year.
Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history. She won her ninth U.S. title at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, tying her with Maribel Vinson for the most U.S. titles won in the history of the sport. She also holds the records for the most consecutive U.S. titles (8) and the most consecutive U.S. medals (12). At the U.S. Championships she was awarded seven perfect 6.0 marks, bringing her to a career total of 42, another U.S. record. She has also won five World titles and two Olympic medals.
In winning the award Kwan beat out 2005 World long track speedskating champion Jennifer Rodriguez and luge slider Ashley Hayden, the first U.S. woman to win a singles luge World Cup medal.
The U.S. ice dancing team of Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto narrowly missed winning the January Team of the Month honor, finishing second to the U.S. women's bobsled team. Both teams were awarded eight first-place votes, but the bobsled team received more overall votes. Belbin and Agosto won their second consecutive U.S. ice dancing title at the 2005 U.S. Championships. They received 14 perfect 6.0 marks for presentation, nine of which were awarded for presentation in the free dance. That marked the first time any skater or skaters received all 6.0s in a certain mark at the U.S. Championships. Their gold medal was their fifth consecutive medal at the U.S. Championships.
Speedskater Shani Davis won as male January Athlete of the Month.