Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin are nominees for the 2012 United States Sports Academy’s (USSA) Male and Female Athletes of the Year. This is the 28th consecutive year the USSA will name an Athlete of the Year, an award that recognizes the most outstanding male and female athlete based on his and her performances throughout the year.
The most decorated Olympian in history, Phelps’ unprecedented 22 career medals, 18 of which are gold, set him in a league of his own. He is the first American male to qualify for four Olympic Games and is also the first male swimmer in the history of the sport to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics, a feat he accomplished in both the 200m IM and 100m Fly. This summer, Phelps surpassed Larisa Latynina for most individual career Olympic medals in history.
At just 17-years-old, Missy Franklin qualified for seven events heading into the 2012 Olympic Games- something no other American female swimmer had ever done. While in London, Franklin set an Olympic and American record in the 100m backstroke and set two world records- one in the 400m medley relay and the other in the 200m backstroke en route to winning five medals, four of which were gold.
This year’s ballot includes a mixture of athletes from 11 countries and 13 different sports. Cast your vote here. Voting will officially close December 4, 2012.