February figured to be a tough time to be named Athlete of the Month by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
It was as, inevitably, an Olympic gold medal wasn’t good enough for some nominees.
The USOC selections, announced Monday:
Female Athlete of the Month — Julia Mancuso, Alpine skiing
Male Athlete of the Month — Bode Miller, Alpine sking
Team of the Month — USA I four-man bobsled
Mancuso won a pair of silver medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, in super combined and downhill. In her third Olympics, Mancuso finished 56 hundredths of a second behind teammate Lindsay Vonn in the downhill and 0.94 behind Germany’s Maria Riesch in the super combined.
Miller took a gold, silver and bronze from the Games, becoming the all-time winningest male in U.S. Alpine ski history. He is the 12th Alpine skier to win three medals at a single Olympics. A four-time Olympian, he has five career Olympic medals, second on the men’s Alpine list to Norway’s Khetil Andre Aamodt’s eight.
Miller’s Vancouver medals came in super combined (gold), super-G (silver) and downhill (bronze).
“The Night Train” became the first U.S. four-man bobsled team to claim Olympic gold since 1948. Driver Steve Holcomb, side-pushers Justin Olsen and Steve Mesler, and brakeman Curt Tomasevicz led after each of the four runs down the Whistler Sliding Centre track.
In the monthly awards, USA I finished ahead of the silver-medal squads in Nordic combined skiing and men’s hockey.
Mancuso was followed by silver-medal hockey player Jenny Potter and short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter, who won a silver and a bronze.
Behind Miller came gold-medal figure skater Evan Lycasek and triple-medal winning short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno.