Klassen named USSA Ahtlete Of The Month

The two Olympic speed skaters who were named male and female “Athlete of the Month” for February by the United States Sports Academy combined for nine medals, including four gold.

Cindy Klassen of Canada was named Female Athlete of the Month after winning five medals – a gold in the 1,500 meters, silvers in the 1,000 meters and Team pursuit and bronzes in the 3,000 and 5000 meters – at the Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy. She set the record for most medals by a female speed skater in one Olympiad and most at a single Olympiad by a Canadian.

Hyun-Soo Ahn of Korea, the Male Athlete of the Month, was the top male medal winner at the winter games after winning gold medals in the 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters and 5000-meter relay as well as a bronze in the 500 meters.

Klassen finished ahead of Japanese figure skater Shizuka Arakawa, who finished second on the Academy’s international ballot, and Russian distance runner Elena Soboleva. Ahn finished ahead of runner-up Ethiopian Half-Marathoner Haile Gebrselassie and Norwegian biathlete Michael Greis.

Arkawa was Japan’s first figure skating gold medalist, winning the ladies’ figure skating gold in Turino. Soboleva set a new indoor world record in the 1,500 meters at the Russian indoor track and field championships, shaving 1.7 seconds off the old record with a time of 3:58.28.

Gebrselassie broke the world record in the half marathon by 21 seconds when running the last half of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon in a time of 58:55. It was the 19th and 20th times he broke world records in his career. Greis won the gold medal in the 20 kilometer, 15 kilometer mass start biathlon and the 4x7.5 relay in Turino.

The US Sports Academy Athlete of the Month is selected by an international voting committee comprised of former athletes, media, sports organizations and governing bodies.

The United States Sports Academy, “America’s Sport University,” is an independent, nonprofit institution that offers sport-specific programs to students, teachers, and administrators around the world. The Academy has a special mission to serve the sports industry as a resource in instruction, research, and other vital sports-related services. It is the only freestanding institution of higher learning in the United States offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in Sport Science and Sport Management, in addition to its extensive certification programs.

For more information about the United States Sports Academy visit the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu